Mission Hills Shenzen-based teaching professional Brian O'Donovan from Cork continued to use local knowledge to his advantage in the PGA Tour China's Qualifying Tournament at Mission Hills Haikou.
A member of Douglas, he's confident his employers will give him time off to play the 14-event PGA Tour China series should he win one of 15 cards on Sunday.
Tied for fourth, two shots behind American Joseph Winslow and England's Wiliam Harrold on three-under, O'Donovan (30) was three-over after seven holes but steadied the ship coming home to post a 73
"It was a grind," O'Donovan said. "The big turning point for me was on eight, where I hit my tee shot OB but made eagle with my second ball to save par. That was quite big for me and I managed to get home in a couple under so overall, pretty happy."
The top-15 finishers will earn full cards and the next 25 and ties will be conditionally exempt for a Series that rewards the top-five money winners with places on the Web.com Tour, the path to the PGA TOUR.
O'Briain going well on Sunshine Tour
Team Ireland's Neil O'Briain shot a second successive 70 to share 18th place on four-under par in the Sunshine Tour's Eye of Africa PGA Championship at Eye of Africa Signature Golf Estate.
The Dubliner (31), who qualified for the event after winning one of five spots in a nine-man playoff, is seven strokes behind South Africa's Combrinck Smit, who shot 69 to lead by two shots in the clubhouse on 11-under from compatriot Louis de Jager and England's Toby Tree.