Christiaan Bezuidenhout dug deep to join unheralded Spaniard Santiago Tarrio Ben as the pace-setters at Fancourt mid-way through the Dimension Data Pro-Am.
Bezuidenhout followed up his opening 61 (Outeniqua course) with a 67 at The Links to leave himself four clear of the field at -17 alongside Tarrio Ben, who followed his opening 63 with a 64 at Montague; a superb round which included a double at 11 – his lone mistake of the tournament.
Bezuidenhout entered the week looking to secure what Official World Golf Ranking points are on offer as the leading contender and survived a late wobble on the front nine – he dropped two shots in three holes – before tearing into the course.
He birdied five of the next six holes to work his way back to the top of the field.
Richard Sterne, runner-up at last year’s Abu Dhabi Championship, is third alone after consecutive 66s.
Fellow European Tour players, George Coetzee and Dean Burmester, sit inside the top five albeit six back of the blistering pace.
Order of Merit leader JC Ritchie is on track for another strong week as he finds himself in the pack sharing eighth on 10 under par. He is joined by Jake Roos and Darren Fichardt in that group.
Ernie Els, Jaco Ahlers and Trevor Fisher are apart of the chasing pack sitting at -9 ahead of Saturday’s final rotation round before the cut falls and those progressing to round four play the Montague course for a second time.
Sam Hacker and his pro partner Louis de Jager lead the Pro-Am scoring at -21, one ahead of Proteas batsman AAB de Villiers and Bezuidenhout.
Spin king Shane Warne and Ahlers are at -15 alongside Schalk Burger Jnr and Bryce Easton. Cricket legend Jacques Kallis, a former winner with Ahlers, and a former winner of the pro event Philip Eriksson are down at -10 for the week.