Bernd Wiesberger fired a stunning bogey-free 65 to open up a four-shot lead, before the second round of the Shenzhen International was suspended due to storms.
The morning wave had just completed their second rounds before the storms arrived at Genzon Golf Club, bringing lightning and heavy rain, with none of the afternoon players having completed more than nine holes.
Wiesberger had returned to complete his first round in the morning after Thursday’s delay, birdieing the 17th to get within one of the lead, and he added a further seven gains in round two to get to 12 under.
Dylan Frittelli and Thorbjorn Olesen emerged as his closest challengers after rounds of 68, with Richie Ramsay a further shot back alongside Gregory Bourdy and Bubba Watson, who were on course when the hooter sounded at 14:40.
The second round will resume at 06:30 local time on Saturday, with round three set to go off two tees in three-balls no earlier than 11:30.
Wiesberger has been in stunning form over the last eight months, having not missed a cut and claiming seven top-five finishes as he seeks a fourth European Tour title.
‘I can’t complain about the score today,’ said the Austrian. ‘It was a long day, I got up at 04:30 to finish a couple of holes.
‘I started well and picked up from the day before. I hit a drive down 17 early in the morning and got my round in of 67, so I was pleased with that and I kept going that way, driving the ball nicely and putting really well.
‘I was feeling comfortable when I was getting the ball on the green and rolling in well on the green, so that was key for me today to get something in the mid-60s.
‘I played a few holes on Tuesday and I said to my caddie it feels like a course that suits me and suits my game. I knew I was playing decent coming into this week.’
George Coetzee made his move on Friday and carded a second round 68, despite a triple bogey on the 14th. Coetzee rebounded with an eagle on the par 5 17th to sit in seventh place.
He is joined on -6 by Haydn Porteous, although the 22-year-old could only complete eight holes before the day’s play was called off. At -1, he is well placed to make a move up the leaderboard before round three gets under way.
Dean Burmester, who like Porteous, was one off overnight leader Bubba Watson’s tally of -6, tallied one over through four holes, but crucially still has three par 5s left in round two to make a move to close the gap on Wiesberger.
Justin Walters has 11 holes left to make the cut, while Brandon Stone is likely to miss the weekend with his 36-hole total of -1, almost certainly not good enough in China. Stone will join Jaco Van Zyl (75-72) and Darren Fichardt (75-77) on the early flight home.