Tyrone Mordt needs a comeback after he shot 74 on Wednesday and dropped to tied 23rd in the first stage of the European Tour Qualifying School at Wychwood Park.
Mordt struggled round, signing for a card of two-over-par, but countryman Le Roux Ferreira, who opened with a 74, carded 68 for round two and holds a share of sixth.
Ferreira, at two-under, is one stroke clear of Mordt, and the pair head up a collection of Tour Card hopefuls, which includes Allan Versfeld, Andrew Georgiou, Darryn Lloyd, and Nico Els.
FerreiraÂs share of sixth is six strokes shy of Englishman Steven Uzzell, who shot 70 on Wednesday and holds the lead at eight-under.
The card of 68 was tied for the best round of the day, but only the top 25 players will progress to the next stage, and Ferreira must maintain his form.
Allan Versfeld went round in 73 on day two, the score moving him down the leaderboard to a share of 11th.
Versfeld leads the Sunshine Tour Rookie of the Year race and with three top-10 finishes should improve on a disappointing second round.
Andrew Georgiou struggled round in 76 and took his tally to 147. At three-over and in a share of 33rd, Georgiou has much ground to recover.
Darryn Lloyd opened the tournament with a decent 72, but lost his composure and signed for a second card of 77.
Despite a six-stroke improvement on his opening 81, Nico ElsÂ second round of 75 further displaced the youngster. Els is tied for 89th at 12-over and needs to produce some magic to progress.
Mordt struggled in his second round, and as the pressure builds he must develop the nerve necessary to compete on the European Tour.