Australians Maverick Antcliff and Steven Jeffress are part of a group of four Professionals leading the final stage of the Asian Tour Qualifying School presented by Sports Authority of Thailand with one round remaining.
The first four rounds of the 2018 Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage was held across two courses in Rayong – the Rayong Green Valley Country Club and the St. Andrews 2000.
The 72-hole cut was set at two-over-par 286 with a total of 78 players progressing into the fifth and final round, which will be held only at the Rayong Green Valley Country Club on Sunday. The top 35 players and ties, at the conclusion of 90 holes, will be ranked accordingly for the 2018 season.
A total of 153 players, including one amateur, had earlier progressed into the third and fourth rounds after surviving the 36-hole cut-off mark which was set at four-over-par 146.
Jeffress, the inaugural winner of the Fiji International in 2014, admitted he’ll now set his sights a little higher for the week after rounds of 66, 70, 69 and 69 for a 10-under par total.
“My goal was to get into top 35 and ties at the start of the week,” said Jeffress.
“I would have taken it at the start of the week if you told me I will be taking a share of lead into the final round, The goal now is to win!”
Starting the round with a three-shot deficit, the 42-year-old Jeffress sank five birdies against a bogey and a double-bogey at the St. Andrews 2000 to grab a share of the lead.
“I am not yet affected by fatigue at this point although I should be, because I am old, compared to the other guys out here. I have been up at 4.30am for the last four mornings now and I had a massive day yesterday. I got to the course at 5.20am and left at 7.10pm last night.
“I still feel pretty good, body-wise and mind-wise. When you keep fresh in the mind, your body feels better as well.”
This marks the New South Welshman’s first time on the Asian Tour, he’s had plenty of experience playing professionally across the world.
“I have played in a lot of Qualifying Schools before but this is my first time playing on the Asian Tour. I think I have played in Japan five or six times and three or four times in Europe,” added Jeffress.
“Q-school is difficult because you only got that one week to set yourself up for the entire year.
"I have got a full card in Australia and I have got something to play at least. I come to this week with a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude but for some of the other guys out here, it can be pretty nerve-wrecking trying to finish inside top 35 and ties. This is part of what we do I guess.”
Queenslander Maverick Antcliff shot rounds of 70, 70, 66 and 68 for his share of the lead at 10-under the card heading in to the final round he was able to recover well in the fourth round to put himself at the top of the leaderboard.
“It was pretty similar to yesterday with the wind and stuff. It was alright because a lot of holes were like cross winds so it didn’t make the holes super short or super long,” said Antcliff.
“I played fairly solid, I made a few nice up and downs when I hit some bad shots out there.”
Travis Smyth is in a tie for 6th position alongside New Zealander Ben Campbell, both 8-under the card.
Gareth Paddison (NZ) and Matt Stieger are 7-under while Oliver Goss and Josh Younger sit at 6-under the card.
Woonchul Na (NZ) is 5-under, Ash Hall is 3-under and Jack Wilson rounds out the Australasians inside the top-35 on 2-under.
For full scores, visit the Asian Tour website.
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