Kearney on the brink after Thailand fightback
Niall Kearney. Picture via

Niall Kearney. Picture via

Royal Dublin's Niall Kearney fought back from a nightmare start to give himself every chance of winning his  card in Saturday's final round of the Asian Tour Q-School in Thailand.

The reigning Irish PGA champion dropped five strokes in his first six holes in his third round at Springfield Royal Golf Club and went out in 40 blows.

But he then dug deep and made four birdies in a back nine of 32, carding a one over par 72 to go into the final round tied for 18th place on four under par. 

Live scoring

The leading money winner on the Irish PGA circuit in 2014 and BMW PGA bound next year thanks to his win in the Titleist PGA Playoffs in Turkey, Kearney will be able to combine the Challenge Tour with the Asian Tour if he finishes in the Top 40 and ties after four rounds today.

The higher in the top 40 he finishes, the better his Asian Tour ranking will be and while he's eight shots behind leader Daniel Chopra of Sweden, he's also just two strokes behind the players in sixth place.

On a day when James Byrne of Scotland revived his hopes of securing an Asian Tour card with an albatross on the 518 yards 12th hole at the Springfield Royal Golf Club — his six-iron approach from 200 yards found the bottom of the cup — Chopra posted a 67 to lead on 12-under-par 202/

American John Catlin returned with the day’s lowest score of 65 to trail by one in second place while Australian Paul Spargo stayed a further shot back in third following a 70.

The top-40 and ties will earn an Asian Tour card for the 2015 season

Leading third round scores:

202 – Daniel CHOPRA (SWE) 68-67-67

203 – John CATLIN (USA) 66-72-65

204 – Paul SPARGO (AUS) 65-69-70

205 – Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 68-70-67

207 – Niclas JOHANSSON (SWE) 68-70-69

208 – Phiphatphong NAEWSUK (THA) 71-69-68, KIM Gi-whan (KOR) 68-71-69, Angar CHEEMA (IND) 69-71-68, LEE Sung (KOR) 73-65-70, Peter EROFEJEFF (FIN) 70-67-71, Himmat RAI (IND) 70-67-71, Danthai BOONMA (THA) 65-71-72, LEE Chieh-po (TPE) 67-69-72, Chikka S (IND) 66-66-76


210 Niall Kearney (IRE) 68 70 72