Jared Harvey blazed a trail around Royal Swazi Sun Country Club on Friday and set the Lombard Insurance Classic lead at 10-under-par.

“I don’t know how to explain it, everything just happened. It was a combination of being in control of my game and the shots coming out perfectly,” he said.

The 26-year-old started on the 10th hole and played an impressive front nine, but his second loop was exceptional. He hit nearly every approach to give and made eagles at the fifth and seventh before signing for a 62.

“The ball was coming out exactly where I aimed and that makes life a lot easier. It gives you so much confidence when you know what every shot will do.

“I played well on the front nine, had four birdies and no drops, so I knew the game was solid, but that back nine was special. I made two eagles and nearly holed three or four shots on the second nine, which was incredible!” he said.

Harvey has been runner-up on four occasions in his career and lost a playoff for the 2014 Investec Royal Swazi Open. On Friday he seemed ready to claim the maiden title that has eluded him since he joined the Sunshine Tour in 2012.

“I’ve been close before around here and I drew on that today, telling myself that it wasn’t all luck that I was going so low. I’ve had a lot of high finishes, a lot of second-place finishes. It’s a new mental challenge to cross the line for a victory and I’d like to think here could be the place.

“For the last couple of months I’ve put too much pressure on myself and I’ve been battling mentally. Now, I’m letting things happen a bit more naturally and it worked today,” he said.

Thanda Mavundla was the first player out on Friday morning and set the tone with a round of nine-under-par 63. He shared second place with Dean Burmester, who birdied two of his last three holes.

“This year I’ve only missed one pre-qualifier,” said Mavundla. “It’s only my rookie year on tour, so I’m very pleased with what I am doing. In the first tournaments that I played, the bigger ones earlier this year, I was very nervous, because I was playing with the big name guys that I normally see on TV. Now that it’s winter my time is coming.”

Ulrich van den Berg held sole third after carding seven-under-par 65, while eight players loomed in a tie for fifth place on six-under-par.