Niall Kearney might be tied for second heading into the final round of the Sky Sports Tour Championship but Jonny Caldwell remains the only Irish golfer on course to finish in the top five on the money list and clinch a Challenge Tour card.
Ranked fourth on the money list starting the week, Caldwell is alone in 15th, ten shots behind leader Adam Chapman, and projected to finish fifth in final Race to Amendoeria standings.
Chapman had hole-in-one in a second round 68 to lead on eight-under and take a four-stroke over Kearney (70-70) and Korea's MK Kim (73-670 into the final round of the season at Amendoeria Golf Resort.
Kim is second on the money list and projected to remain there but Chapman could leap from 54th to third if he captures the £22,540 top prize today.
Kearney would pick up £8,450 for a T2 with Kim, but that would move him up just three spots from 10th to seventh, meaning he may now need to finish solo second or win the event, depending on Chapman's final round performance.
Ballymena's Dermot McElroy is tied for sixth, seven strokes behind Chapman after a 72 and could fall to eighth in the rankings unless he can snatch a top-three finish by closing the gap on the leaders.
Brendan McCarroll could make the leap into the top five in the money list with a second place finish, but a 73 left him on three-over, 11 shots off the lead and tied 16th entering the final round.
As for Brian Casey and Tim Rice, they need to win to graduate, and at 38th and 44th respectively, their bid looks over.
As for Chapman, who followed an opening bogey with an ace at the second and three successive birdies, he plans to keep his head down on Thursday.
“I won’t be paying much attention to the leaderboard tomorrow as I’ve got a comfortable cushion over a few of the other guys. It’s only the people I’m playing with that matter tomorrow.”
Sky Sports Tour Championship, Oceanico Faldo Course, Amendoeira Golf Resort (Par 72)
1 Adam Chapman (Eng) 68 68 136
T2 Niall Kearney (The Royal Dublin) 70 70 140
T6 Dermot McElroy (Ballymena) 71 72 143
15 Jonathan Caldwell (Clandeboye) 74 72 146
T16 Brendan McCarroll (Narin & Portnoo) 74 73 147
T38 Brian Casey (None) 78 73 151
T44 Tim Rice (Limerick) 81 71 152