Ireland's trio of contenders ended the day with work to do to make the cut but there were no such problems for Dane Morten Ørum Madsen as he aced his 17th hole and then eagled the last to lead the Tshwane Open in Pretoria.
The 6'4" former plus six handicapper, 25, was three under with two to go when he aced the eighth and then holed a 12 footer for eagle at the ninth to set the pace with a seven under par 63.
He was joined by England’s David Horsey as the three-time European Tour winner produced a flawless display in the afternoon.
Winner of last year's South African Open Championship, Madsen turned in a two under 33, holed a 30 footer at the first and followed his lone bogey of the day at the fourth with another birdie at the sixth.
He spun his wedge to the 135-yard eighth back into the hole for the 20th ace on The European Tour this season, and closed out his day in style after an excellent three-iron approach at the ninth.
“The last couple of weeks I’ve been hitting some shots really close and I actually said to my caddy last week that a hole in one is on the cards pretty soon,” said Madsen. “Luckily for me it came today. I hit a fantastic shot, I couldn’t hit it better, and it spun back into the hole. That was only my second hole in one and it’s really special to have one in competition on The European Tour.
“When you stand on the next tee you’re pretty pumped and confident. I succeeded in gathering my thoughts and hit a really nice drive and then a great second shot and then sank it, which was a fantastic way to finish. It was the kind of thing you dream about, but don’t expect. Today was a great day and I had a lot of fun out there.
“I’ve found something in my game that’s working and I’ve been pretty consistent.”
Madsen and Horsey lead by one stroke from Australia's Brett Rumford and South Africans Wallie Coetsee and Dean Burmester.
Michael Hoey is tied for 52nd after making an eagle, two birdies and four bogeys in a level par 70 while Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke shares 80th after taking 32 putts in a 71.
Kells' Damien McGrane hit just nine greens in a 75, running up two bogeys, two doubles and just one birdie.