Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen carded a bogey-free five-under 66 to take a one-shot advantage at the top of a congested leaderboard following the second round of the European Tour’s South African Open on Friday.

Just three shots separate the first 22 players at the halfway point of the championship, with Pulkkanen alone at the summit on 11-under-par after he managed five birdies on a tougher scoring day for the 240-strong field.

FULL LEADERBOARD

At one point there was a seven-way tie at the top of the leaderboard at the Randpark Golf Club. Pulkkanen is seeking a first win on tour, but will have to fight off a sizeable chasing pack if he is to be victorious in Johannesburg.

Gavin Moynihan is the best of the Irish. He followed up an opening 68 with a two-under 69 to sit on five-under overall, six off the leader.

Jonathan Caldwell is just one shot further back thanks to a fine three-under 68, while Conor Purcell is level par following consecutive 71s.

Englishman Sam Horsfield (68) is one of five players a shot back from Pulkkanen, in a group that includes home amateur Jayden Trey Schaper (67), and the South African trio of Thriston Lawrence (65), Jaco Ahlers (66) and Trevor Fisher Jnr (67).

Overnight leader Johannes Veerman from the United States could only manage a 71 following his superb 62 in his opening round, and is two shots off the pace.

Former Open winner and defending champion Louis Oosthuizen (69) is on eight-under par for the tournament and part of a big group of players who will hope to make a move on the weekend.