Jbe Kruger (Getty Images)
Jbe Kruger added a second round 67 to his opening 64 to establish a four shot lead at the halfway stage of the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
The 25 year old, searching for his first European Tour title, goes into the weekend 13 under par at Leopard Creek and well clear of first round joint-leader Seve Benson, Chile’s Felipe Aguilar and Scotland’s George Murray.
For much of the day it looked like Kruger’s compatriot George Coetzee was going to be the man to catch over the weekend.
Coetzee, the highest-ranked player in the field, led by four only to then drop five shots in the last three holes of his second round.
Also chasing a first European Tour title, Coetzee was sailing on smoothly until he found water on the short seventh, his 16th.
After taking five there he duffed a chip on the next and double-bogeyed again, then failed to get out of a greenside bunker at the ninth and dropped another shot.
Former Zambia and Zimbabwe Open champion Kruger has missed the cut in the event the last three years, but this time has already amassed two eagles and 12 birdies – a 25 foot eagle putt at the par five second giving him the perfect start to day two.
But Kruger felt his lead could have been even bigger had he continued to hole out for the remainder of his round.
“The putts just don’t want to drop, believe it or not,” Kruger said. “I’ve been hitting it close the last couple of days. On 15, 16 and 17 – I can’t believe how the putt on 15 missed, and on 17, the same thing.
“I didn’t have fun in the early part of my round, but later I did have fun. I think you should have fun, otherwise, why play? If you enjoy it you tend to play better.”
Benson had kept pace in the first round, but had to settle for a second round 71.
At 163rd on The Race to Dubai he faces a huge weekend. Only a victory will guarantee his card for next year.
Murray has no such worries after finishing joint third with Graeme McDowell in the lucrative Alfred Dunhill Links championship at St Andrews last month.
The 28 year old started that week 183rd in The Race to Dubai and found himself playing with Luke Donald in the final round, but outscored the World Number One by three and quadrupled his 2011 earnings.
He added a 69 to his first-round 66 this time, while Aguilar, winner of the 2008 Indonesian Open, had a best-of-the-day 64.
"As long as you put yourself into contention then you are going to have a fun weekend," he said.