Rory McNamara played his final 12 holes in four under par to move into position to qualify for next month’s Final Stage of the Asian Tour Qualifying School in Thailand.
As Alps Tour regular David Carey shot a two over 74 in the second round in his Section A qualifier Suvarnabhumi Golf and Country Club in Bangkok to fall back to tied 36th and four shots outside the crucial top 22 and ties on level par, McNamara improved 16 places at Windsor Park Golf Club.
The ex international, a former North and West of Ireland Championship winner, still has work to do over the final two rounds as he is tied for 16th on level par and three shots outside the top 12 and ties who will go on to the Final Stage at Suvarnabhumi from January 11 to 14.
South African Tristen Strydom kept up his chase for an Asian Tour card by carding a five-under par 67 to seize the halfway lead by one shot at Windsor Park, following up his opening 69 with one eagle and five birdies against two bogeys to lead on eight-under-par 136.
Overnight leader Nitithorn Thippong signed for a 70 to slip to second place alongside American Dino A. Giacomazzi, Japan’s Yuki Shino and Sangpil Yoon of Korea.
A total of 41 players survived the halfway cut set at seven-over-par 151 at a venue where the leading 12 players and ties at the end of four rounds will qualify for the Final Stage.
Players from Suvarnabhumi must finish inside the top-22 and ties and Carey has work to do after falling for 16th to 36th on level par after his 74, four shots outside the mark.
The 20 year old made four birdies but also pencilled in six bogeys and now trails lead Kelly Burton of the USA by 11 strokes.
The American added a 66 to his opening 67 to lead by one stroke on 11 under par from Fiji’s Sam Lee.
Dubliner Niall Kearney and Limerick man Tim Rice will try to make it to the final stage for their Section B qualifier from January 4-7.
Muskerry’s Niall Turner, who contrary to rumours has not retired, has medical exemption for the Asian Tour for 2017 having taken a sabbatical in 2016 to take care of a series of niggling injuries
“Basically, I have a full card for next year and will get into everything,” said Turner, who finished 58th on the Asian Tour's Order of Merit in 2015 with $70,440 from just 10 starts.