Hilton Head Island's Chris Epperson slipped a bit Thursday in the first stage of PGA Tour qualifying at The Club at Irish Creek in Kannapolis, N.C., but he still stands in a tie for eighth place.
Epperson shot a third-round 71 to stay at 6-under par (69-67-71--207), five shots behind leader Harold Varner of Gastonia, N.C. Epperson made the cut in all 17 of his eGolf Tour starts this season, finishing third three times and falling outside the top 25 in just one tournament.
The top 19 and ties will advance from The Club at Irish Creek, one of 12 first-round sites.
At Lantana Golf Club in Lantana, Texas, where the top 18 and ties advance, 2012 Players Amateur champion Daniel Nisbet continues to lead the way. Nisbet shot 65 for the second straight day and has a seven-shot lead after three rounds. He goes into the final round with a 17-under-par 199 total.
Players who advance past the first round will take part in one of six second-round tournaments, joining players exempted from the first round of qualifying.
From the second round, the players hope to advance to the 108-hole final held Nov. 28 to Dec. 3 at the PGA West Nicklaus and Stadium Courses in LaQuinta, Calif.
From there, the top 25 players will earn their PGA Tour cards, while the next 50 will earn full status on the Web.com Tour.