Victor Dubuisson opened up a two-shot lead after a weather-affected second day of the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player.
Sunny skies and calm winds had brought excellent scoring to day one of the seventh Rolex Series event of the season but it was a different story on Friday with strong gusts testing the players and two hours and 28 minutes lost to storms in the area.
The sun was setting over Gary Player Country Club when the last group holed their final putts, with Dubuisson completing a 70 to get to six under and lead the way from local favourite Darren Fichardt and two-time champion Lee Westwood.
The Frenchman has an incredible record at this time of year that has brought him two wins at the Turkish Airlines Open, two top fives here and three top fives at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai in November and December since 2013.
"I just try to play as good as I can each day, day after day," he said. "Especially on this course, you've got to have a very solid game to do some good scoring.
"The driver of course here is the key if you want to play well and today I didn't miss many fairways, maybe one or two, and I played very solidly in the wind.
"It's the goal of the week to play Dubai because it's been five years in a row that I've played the Dubai final. Of course I think about it."
Englishman Westwood won this event back-to-back in 2010 and 2011 while a victory for reserve Fichardt would be a remarkable result for the man who only made his tee-time on Thursday with minutes to spare after finding out about Anthony Wall's withdrawal.
Dubuisson was still a shot behind overnight leader Bernd Wiesberger stood on the fourth tee but when the Austrian found a bunker off the tee and needed two attempts to exit it, he made a double-bogey.
It's the goal of the week to play Dubai because it's been five years in a row that I've played the Dubai final - Victor Dubuisson
A 15-footer on the same hole meant that Dubuisson held the lead on his own and when he holed a very long putt on the sixth, he was six under and two ahead.
A poor tee-shot on the tenth looked like it would cut into his lead but he got a free drop and made birdie to lead by three and looked in total control.
He made a first bogey of the day from the fringe on the next and his lead was soon cut to one.
Scotland's Scott Jamieson had birdied the first to share the lead early but made back-to-back bogeys on the second and third before bouncing back with birdies on the tenth and 11th.
Westwood bogeyed the first but birdied the third and fourth before dropping another shot on the sixth. A long putt on the eighth followed and when he took advantage of the par five ninth, he was four under.
A missed short putt on the 12th dropped him back but he took advantage of the par five 14th and then hit a stunning tee-shot into the 16th to get within one.
Westwood three-putted the 17th and with Jamieson getting in trouble off the tee on the 14th, the lead went back to two.
Dubuisson then put his approach to four feet on the next and was three ahead when the hooter sounded, with he and Jamieson both bogeying the last after the resumption.
Fichardt made the most of all the par fives, birdieing the second, ninth, tenth and 14th with a single bogey on the fifth.
Jamieson, defending champion Alex Noren and English duo Ross Fisher and Tyrrell Hatton were at three under, a shot clear of Major champions Martin Kaymer and Charl Schwartzel.