South African Zander Lombard will take a two-shot lead into the third round on home soil at the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player.
Lombard, the joint winner of the European Tour’s Qualifying School last year, has been in good form and he carded a 65 to make it to 11 under par at Sun City.
The 24-year-old began his round with a bogey but was flawless thereafter, making six birdies and an eagle at the par-5 tenth.
“It was all positives and I really enjoyed it today,” said Lombard. “We were just fighting for a birdie every hole, not looking at the leaderboard or figuring out if we were going to just make par. I was being aggressive and being positive and it went my way today.”
Lombard is two shots clear of his countryman and first-round leader Louis Oosthuizen who, after his remarkable 63 on Thursday, had to settle for a level-par round of 72.
The former Open winner was in hospital on Wednesday with kidney stones, and admitted feeling the effects.
He said “[I was] definitely more fatigued today, especially the last six, seven holes. The tee shot on the 14th, I hit it on the right side. I think it was more muscle-related than anything else.
“The stones have passed, I just need to get some rest and play good tomorrow.”
Belgian Thomas Detry is a further two shots back while Tommy Fleetwood is tied for fourth on six under with Swede Marcus Kinhult. Matt Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood are four and three under respectively.
Scott Jamieson is the leading Scot on level-par after a 71, with Bob MacIntyre and Richie Ramsay on five-over and six-over respectively after they both ran up quadruple-bogey 9s at the ninth – their final hole.
l Calum Hill marked his PGA Tour debut with a two-under-par 69 in the delayed first round of the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico to sit alongside compatriot Russell Knox (69). Martin Laird opened with a 72 as Kiwi Danny Lee set the clubhouse lead on 62.