Stephanie Meadow has work to do to win her full LPGA Tour card after posting a third round 73 at the Qualifying Tournament to share 43rd on level par, three shots outside the top 20 who will earn full cards after five rounds in Florida.
The Jordanstown native is two shots inside the top 70 and ties who make the 72-hole cut on Saturday but all well within striking distance of her card despite mixing two bogeys with one birdie on the Hills Course at LPGA International in Daytona Beach.
Japan’s Nasa Hataoka, the second youngest player in the field at 18, posted a 69 to grab a one-shot lead on 14-under, 202.
She is one shot clear of Jaye Marie Green (Boca Raton, Florida), who posted a 67 in the same group as Hataoka to stand at 13-under, 203.
Olafia Kristinsdottir (Reykjavik, Iceland) is in third place at 9-under, 207 after a 67 on the Hills course.
Champions Tour — Paul McGInley ended a disappointed tied 72nd in the PGA TOUR Champions Q-School at Disney's Magnolia Course in Orlando.
The Dubliner finished on 17 over after adding a one over 73 to rounds of 85, 75 and 72.
Scott Parel and Welshman Phillip Price secured their fully-exempt status for the 2017 season after they earned co-medalist honours at the Orlando resort..
Bobby Gage birdied his final three holes en route to a third-place finish, while Fran Quinn and Skip Kendall survived a sudden-death playoff to earn the final two fully-exempt statuses available.
The remainder of the top 30 and ties — one under or better — have conditional status. They include former European Tour winners Jose Coceres, Thaworn Wiratchant, Miguel Angel Martin, Stephen Dodd and Jean Van de Velde.
Trailing Parel by one at the start of the day, Price made two birdies and an eagle in his first four holes and quickly took a three-stroke lead. He was even-par coming in, but the 4-under-par start helped him card a final-round 68 and earn co-medalist honors at 13-under.
“To start well was a real bonus, but I probably started so well that it was quite tricky because I had 14 more holes, so it was difficult not to be really defensive,” Price said.
“I wanted to try to win the Q-School because it would have been very easy to try and go out and get the fifth card, which I think would have made me very negative.
"I wanted to make birdies rather than to try not to make mistakes because I think I could have gotten myself in trouble with that mindset.”
Price’s opening stretch was in great contrast to Parel’s, who started with nine straight pars and remained at 10-under. But Parel eagled No. 10 after he hit a 3-hybrid to 10 feet, and a birdie on No. 11 helped push him across the finish line with a closing round of 69.
“It’s great, I’m excited I don’t have to worry about doing any Monday qualifying and that’s the big thing,” said Parel, who Monday qualified eight times in 2016. “February can’t get here fast enough for me.”