Vicar's son Danny Willett birdied three of the first four holes and took over the lead from fellow Englishman David Lynn in the Joburg Open.
Willett, a teammate of Rory McIlroy at the 2007 Walker Cup, moved from ten under par to 13 under while Lynn parred the opening stretch to remain 12 under.
The former English amateur champion from Sheffield, who like McIlroy led the amateur world rankings for a spell, finished fourth in the event 12 months ago and matched that at The Celtic Manor Wales Open as he came 58th on The Race to Dubai.
Lynn, meanwhile, is trying for only his second victory on The European Tour in over 300 events going back to his debut in 1996.
First player to catch him was South African Hendrik Buhrmann, who birdied the first and third, but then bogeyed the next.
Compatriot Charl Schwartzel, seeking his second successive victory, was in second place overnight, but also parred the first four.
David Horsey, another member of the Walker Cup side three years ago, holed-in-one at the 197 yard 12th, his third, and earned a two-night stay at a nearby luxury hotel.