The foreigners took control on day two of the WPGA Masters at Waterkloof Golf Club on Thursday.
Denmark’s Julie Tvede produced a solid 67 to surge to six under par and two strokes clear of Finland’s Kaisa Ruuttilla, who signed for a 69. England’s Rebecca Hudson is next best on three under following a round of 70.
Morgana Robbertze and Lee-Anne Pace are the leading South Africans on two under after respective rounds of 71 and 70.
First round leader Stacy Bregman endured a frustrating day in which she dropped back to level par for the tournament with a disappointing round of 74.
Tvede, who finished second behind Lee-Anne Pace in last week’s Pam Golding Ladies International, started the round one stroke off the lead.
The former Danish national team member took advantage of some solid iron play to move within sight of her maiden professional victory going into Friday’s final round.
“It was a very good day,” said Tvede. “This is a tough course and there aren’t a lot of holes you can go for. You can obviously hit the par-fives in two and you kind of have to birdie them because they are fairly short.”
“But on a lot of the holes you have to play quite conservative golf.”
Tvede also managed her game on the greens quite well.
“The greens, especially on the front nine, are so bumpy and slopey and the pitch is quite high so you can’t just hit it to the pin. You get good and bad bounces and it depends on what kind of day you’re having.”
Behind her, Ruuttilla is seeking to become the first Finnish winner on the Tour since Minea Blomqvist won two out of four tournaments in 2004. And Hudson also remains a threat following her fourth place finish in the previous event.
Kelli Shean heads into the final round as the leading amateur on one under par following a 71. Fellow amateur and defending champion Ashleigh Simon is at level par for the tournament after signing for a 73.