East London, South Africa – Adilson Da Silva continued his hot start on Friday and vaulted into the top spot at the Africa Open.
Da Silva recorded five birdies through his first six holes during his first round on Thursday to sit a shot behind leader Jaco Van Zyl before play was suspended for darkness. He then carried that momentum into Friday to finish at 14-under through two rounds.
"I got a good break yesterday," Da Silva said. "It was extremely hard out there for the morning field, and then I got the break and I just started making some putts."
Van Zyl carded a 67 on Friday and currently sits in second place at 11-under, while John Parry (66) is a shot behind him at 10-under for sole possession of third.
Darren Fichardt and Oliver Bekker both shot 67 to share fourth place at minus-8.
Da Silva resumed his first round with a birdie at the ninth and followed that with five straight pars before chipping in an eagle at the par-5 15th.
He then closed out his first round with back-to-back birdies at the 17th and 18th to finish with a 10-under 62, which was the best round of his career and one shot off the course record set by Richard Sterne in 2009.
The 41-year-old continued to roll when he started his second round with a birdie on his second hole, the 10th.
He stumbled to his first bogey of the tournament on the 11th, but then picked up birdies at the 13th, 15th and first to reach minus-13. Five straight pars followed before he poured in a birdie at the seventh and closed with another par at the eighth to finish his day.
"My putting has been letting me down lately, and it just came alive," said Da Silva.
Van Zyl opened his second round with a bogey at the first, but he countered that with three straight birdies from the third to the fifth.
After another birdie at the seventh brought him to 9-under for the tournament, he recorded consecutive bogeys at the eighth and ninth.
The South African, however, bounced back with a streak of birdies from the 12th to the 15th to get within striking distance of Da Silva.
Parry also bogeyed the eighth and ninth to offset birdies at the third, fifth and sixth, but then reeled off five birdies in his final nine holes to keep pace with Van Zyl and Da Silva.
Fredrik Andersson Hed, who is currently ranked 97th in the world and is the lone member of the field to be ranked in the top 100, carded a 1-under 71 on Friday to take a 36-hole total of 1-over and just miss the cut.
NOTES: Da Silva, who is a regular on the co-sanctioning Sunshine Tour, is seeking his first career European Tour win ... Van Zyl is also trying for his first win, while Parry is trying for his second European title ... This is the fifth straight year that the tournament is being held at East London Golf Club.