Bernd Wiesberger, Victor Dubuisson and Rafa Cabrero-Bella were also three-under, while Maximilian Kieffer had one hole to complete and was also on three-under.
“The greens are getting a little bit bumpy this afternoon. The course is firming up big time,” said Van Zyl. “They have got poa annua greens, so it’s a grass that grows a lot quicker than normally. We only finished just after 8pm, so you had them growing the whole day. It will be a little bit better tomorrow morning.
“If you don’t hit it close, it’s really hard to judge the speed. I mean, you get one that’s bouncing a little bit, it comes up short; get one that rolls out nicely, goes a couple of feet past. It’s not the nicest thing to have those four‑ or five‑footers all afternoon,” he added.
Van Zyl produced an impressive flawless round. “It’s one of those golf courses where there are a couple of holes you can score on, but you can never really let your guard down,” he said.
He had an impressive start to The European Tour season, with three top-10s by the end of March – in the Joburg Open, the Africa Open and the Trophee Hasan II. But it has been a bit barren for him since, with only three cuts made and a best of a share of 16th in the Irish Open.
He got to the weekend in last week’s BMW International Open in Germany, however, finishing in a share of 29th. “I’m actually playing better golf now than what I did the beginning of the year,” he said. “I got off to a nice start last week in Germany. I just had a bit of a slow weekend.
“But everything is kind of there. Just one day hitting it nicely and the putter is not behaving, and the next day the putter is behaving and not hitting it as great. Just waiting for it all to come back in one piece and then hopefully it will be a good week.”