Oliver Bekker carded a six under par 65 to move into the clubhouse lead late on the second morning of the Joburg Open.
The South African is now at ten under overall, level with David Drysdale after the Scotsman had fired in four birdies and no bogeys through his opening nine holes at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.
Bekker’s compatriot McLardy is a shot further back – the home favourite notching up three birdies at the start of the back nine en route to a second round 68.
Another Briton to have made a flying start to day two of the co-sanctioned European Tour and Sunshine Tour event was Danny Willett of England, who had moved to nine under overall with a 66, while six under rounds each from Richard McEvoy and Tyrone van Aswegen saw them move to eight under for the tournament.
Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey, who was a shot off the first day leaders, had remained level through his opening six holes to stay on his overnight score of seven under, with the round of the day going to Wallie Coetsee – the South African carding a faultless seven under par round of 64 on the West Course to move onto six under for the week.
But the morning belonged to Bekker after he picked up seven shots with just one drop on the West Course to go with his opening day 67 on the East.
He said: “I don’t think I could have had a better draw for this tournament because I was off first in the afternoon on the east getting the good greens and I didn’t have to worry about thunderstorms in the afternoon.
“I didn’t have a good finish at the end of last year, so I’m just trying to manage myself better on the golf course by cutting out the bogeys, maybe not playing as aggressively and try a little more conservative shots and playing within myself.
“I think it’s been paying off especially yesterday as I found all 18 greens in regulation and it makes it easy putting for birdie every hole.”
Joint overnight leaders Steven Jeppesen and Trevor Fisher Jnr had made a slow starts to their second rounds.
The Swede was at five over par after 16 holes with five bogeys and one double bogey, with the South African dropping two shots through his opening two holes.