JAKE Higginbottom produced a flawless five-under 65 on Friday to move into fourth position at the $2.75 million Hong Kong Open and a step towards securing his future on the Asian Tour.
Higginbottom, after opening with a one-under 69, peeled off five birdies to be among four players at six under.
Englishman Aaron Rai (65, 61) is a runaway leader at 14 under, four clear from South Korea’s Hyowon Park.
The Hong Kong Open is co-sanctioned with the European tour and has attracted some of the biggest names from the northern hemisphere.
World No.9 and US Open runner-up Tom Fleetwood (69-65) is also at six under as are Australians Jason Scrivener (65,69) and Scott Hend (68,66) .
Sergio Garcia is tied for 21st at three under.
Higginbottom sits in 68th place on the Asian Tour money list and needs to earn about $25,000 in the final four events to retain his card for next season. A top-20 finish in Hong Kong would all but guarantee his place.
The 25-year-old from Charlestown missed the cut at the Australian Open last week. He was tied for 35th at the NSW Open.
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