Arnold, who earned his card at last year’s Qualifying School but has made just two cuts in seven starts this year, signed for a third round 68 to get to 12-under and T11 with 18 holes remaining.
Four straight birdies in the middle of his round at the Corales Golf Club had Arnold inside the top five mid round but a double bogey at the par-3 17th saw him slip seven places down the standings.
It was one of four dropped shots for the day though Arnold made an impressive eight birdies and after a difficult start to the season a strong finish tomorrow would go a long way to securing his status for the rest of the year.
Rhein Gibson was the only other Australian to make the cut, a third round of 6-under 66 leapfrogging him 34 places up the leaderboard to T15.
After a run of three missed cuts Gibson, who played the PGA Tour last year but failed to keep his card, has found form this week and has a chance to post his best finish of 2017, a T15 in The Bahamas in January.
Robert Allenby and Mathew Goggin both missed the weekend’s play Goggin playing his first tournament back after wrist surgery over the Australian summer.
Meanwhile, Victoria’s Brett Coletta has earned status through the first eight events of the PGA Tour Canada season after finishing fourth at the Qualifying School in British Columbia.
The 20-year-old reigning Queensland Open champion fired rounds of 70-67-70-68 to finish 13-under at the Crown Isle Resort and Golf Club and alone in fourth position.
That finish means Coletta will be guaranteed starts in the first eight events of the season before a reshuffle of players who have qualified through the school.
If he plays well, the talented former top amateur can secure his card for the season and take aim at a top five finish on the end of year money list and a place on the Web.com Tour next year.
Coletta was one of three Australians in the field in Canada, Tasmania’s Simon Hawkes finishing T15 and eligible for the first four events of the season before a reshuffle while another Victorian, Lucas Herbert, was T21 and earns conditional status.
WEEKEND PINS: CARBROOK 17TH
Want video tips delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to iseekgolf.com newsletters.