George Coetzee fired a bogey-free 64 to take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the Tshwane Open in Pretoria.
The South African, who won this event in 2015, came into the week as one of the favourites on his home course and he lived up to that billing, following up an opening 67 to get to 11 under.
Finn Mikko Korhonen and Chile's Felipe Aguilar were his nearest challengers after the trio did battle in the morning session and separated themselves from the rest of the field.
Meanwhile Gavin Moynihan’s week is over, his second round of 73 leaving him on six over par - seven strokes outside the one under par par cut mark.
Coetzee started on the 10th and turned in 30 with six birdies before a beautiful tee-shot into the par-three eighth moved him into the lead.
“I’m happy to have posted two pretty good rounds,” he told europeantour.com. “I’ll try and just focus on playing decent golf and posting good numbers for the weekend.”
Aguilar had held a share of top spot before he bogeyed the last in a 67, while Korhonen eagled the ninth — his final hole — to match Coetzee’s 64.
South Africans Louis de Jager, JC Ritchie and Justin Walters were at seven under alongside Portuguese Ricardo Gouveia, one shot clear of Scotland's Scott Jamieson and two ahead of English trio Matthew Baldwin, Laurie Canter and Sam Horsfield.
Danny Willett was seven shots off the lead but a 68 showed signs of improvement as the 2016 Masters champion made his first cut in three events since returning from a shoulder injury
He tweeted: “Game feeling good, plenty of reasons to smile.”