Three poor holes have cost Nick Cullen a chance at a fourth top 10 finish in five starts at the European Challenge Tour's Terre dei Consoli Open in Italy.

Cullen posted an impressive 15 birdies over the course of the week at the Terre dei Consoli Golf Club but three double bogeys and four other dropped shots saw the left hander finish 5-under for the week and T26.

Cullen has played solid golf on Europe's secondary Tour over the past three months starting with a runner-up finish in France in July.He backed that up with consecutive top 10's in early September though missed the cut at the Tour's richest event, the Kazakhstan Open, last week.

Cullen won the Australian Masters in 2014 but has struggled to find a major Tour to play full time since.

He has openly said his aim is to earn a place on either the European or US Tours and his recent play will hold him in good stead at the upcoming qualifying schools for both.

With three full field events left until the Road to Oman Final, Cullen needs to play his way back into the top 45 on the season long points race to be eligible for the last event of the season.

He has fallen to 51st after climbing as high as 44th in recent weeks but will be encouraged by his recent form

Daniel Gaunt was the only other Australian to tee up in Italy and finished T66 for the week. Gaunt is 68th on the Road to Oman standings with only the top 45 retainig full playing rights next season.