Newcastle’s Jake Higginbotom has clawed his way back inside the all-important top-60 on the Asian Tour Order of Merit with a top-15 finish at the Macao Open at the weekend.

Higginbottom has struggled for form for much of the year and had fallen outside the number which ensures playing rights for next season but rounds of 74-71-67-71 suggest his game is rounding back into shape.

With just four full field events left on the Asian Tour schedule, as well as three co-sanctioned with the European Tour and one WGC, there is little wiggle room for Higginbottom who needs more good results in the coming weeks to shore up his position.

He was one of 12 Australasians to tee up at Macau Golf and Country Club with nine eventually making the cut, Lucas Herbert, David Gleeson and Anthony Quayle the three to miss out.

New Zealand’s Gareth Paddison was the best of those who played the weekend finishing T12 while Dimi Papadatos and Scott Barr shared 15th alongside Higginbottom.

Marcus Both was T32 while Scott Hend, a former winner and among the favourites at the start of the week, found the going tough to finish T34 alongside NSW Open winner Adam Blyth.

Terry Pilkadaris (T57) and Ben Eccles (T58) both suffered poor third rounds to slip down the standings at the weekend.