Chris Hanson makes handsome progress on European Tour bow at Leopard Creek
He was up early to tackle the closing four holes of his first round, after dangerous weather saw a premature cessation of play on Thursday, and birdied two of them for a 70.
The 30-year-old then added a one-under-par 71 for a three-under aggregate in a tournament in which home favourite Charl Schwartzel has opened up a commanding lead.
The South African, US Masters champion four years ago, carded a second-round 67 to follow his first-round 66, giving him a five-shot lead at 11 under par from Richard Sterne, Benjamin Hebert, Pablo Martin and Joost Luiten, all tied second.
Hanson dropped a shot at the third on Thursday, but moved to two under for the round and four under for the tournament with birdies at holes six, 10 and 14.
However, the 18th, which cost him two shots on Thursday, tripped him up again with a bogey there denying him a sub-70 round.
Harrogate’s John Parry missed the cut (76 72). He had just dropped a shot at the 15th when a halt was called in the first round and on resumption on Friday bogeyed each of the last three holes.
Parry then had a roller-coaster level-par 72 that included five bogeys plus an eagle and three birdies in his closing seven holes.
The Leopard Creek course in Malelane is a favourite haunt of Schwartzel’s, who has won there on three previous occasions.
He began day two with the 18th still to play and posted an immediate birdie.
After a quick turnaround, Schwartzel began his second round at the 10th hole, and two more birdies saw him throw down a challenge to the chasing pack that they ultimately could not meet.
Windy conditions made scoring generally more difficult than on day one, but that did not trouble Oxfordshire-based Englishman Eddie Pepperell, who carded a brilliant 65 that left him six shots off the lead.
It represented a superb recovery following an opening round 74, and it would have been even better had he not collected a double bogey late in the day.