A triple bogey for Shane Lowry during the second round of the Nedbank Challenge halted his charge and is now five shots adrift of clubhouse leader Victor Dubuisson in Sun City.
The Offaly man began the day five off Bernd Wiesberger, but four birdies on the front nine and another at the 10th saw Lowry briefly top the leaderboard in Sun City.
A bogey at 11 was the first setback of the day, but much worse was to follow at the 550-yard par-five 14th.
The 30-year-old needed eight shots to complete the hole, though did regains his composure to birdie the par-3 16th.
The round of 71 places him at one-under-par, two shots ahead of compatriot Padraig Harrington. A round of 76 placed Paul Dunne at +6.
Dubuisson however remains the man to catch after he enjoyed a birdie-laden second round at the Gary Player Country Club.
The Ryder Cup star carded a two-under 70 to reach six-under, but his advantage would have been greater had it not been for a bogey at the last after missing the green and then firing his chip 25 feet past the hole.
Dubuisson's momentum was halted after he birdied the 15th to move three clear when the threat of lightning forced a two-and-a-half-hour suspension.
By then second-placed South African Darren Fichardt, who was not even in the field on Thursday morning but got in as a late reserve, and Lee Westwood were safely home in the clubhouse on four under after rounds of 69 and 70 respectively.