Rory McIlroy is on one under par after hitting a 71 during the second round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City on Friday.
The early leader is Sergio Garcia on nine under with Louis Oosthuizen one shot behind on eight under par.
And world number six McIlroy saw his faint hopes of overhauling Francesco Molinari to win the Race to Dubai fade.
Eighth-placed McIlroy is almost £1.75m behind Molinari and needs to win at least one of the remaining two events to overhaul the Italian, who enjoys a lead of just under £1m from Ryder Cup partner and defending champion Tommy Fleetwood.
“I haven’t been giving myself good positions off the tee to give me chances with irons and get close enough to have a good look at birdies,” said McIlroy.
“I need to tidy up may game off the tee. If you do that you give yourself a chance.”