However, five-time IGT Tour winner Bryandrew Roelofsz is in hot pursuit after an equally impressive third round at the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School in Bloemfontein on Thursday.
Smith made the most of an early morning tee time at Schoeman Park Golf Club to reel in eight birdies and an eagle-three at the ninth to fire a blistering 10 under 62.
His 54-hole target at 15-under-par 201 went unthreatened until Roelofsz started nearly four hours later.
The 23-year-old Edenvale golfer responded with six birdies and an eagle at the par-five 15th for a 66 to close the gap and Roelofsz will start the fourth round just two strokes off the pace.
“I am striking the ball really great and that sets you up for birdies,” Roelofsz said.
“I gave myself a lot of chances with good irons into the greens and I sunk good putts. It’s a pity that I couldn’t keep my card clean, but I’m going to sleep well after that performance.
“Q-School is a pressure cooker and you just have to keep a cool head and stay in the moment. If your mind starts wandering, the bogeys starts queuing up. I am really pleased that I’ve kept my focus and kept myself in contention with two rounds to play.”
Meanwhile fellow IGT Tour champions Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Louis Taylor also made significant strides at Schoeman Park Golf Club.
The pair vaulted to eight under 208 after Bezuidenhout, a four-time winner this season, rushed home in 65 strokes, while Harrismith amateur Taylor reeled in eagles at nine and 12 to produce a 66.
Michael Palmer, another four-time IGT Tour winner, sits a further stroke back in the four-man bus at seven under.
Palmer carded an even-par 72 to share eighth spot with ERMP Challenge champion Brett Liddle, IGT Tour regular Dayne Moore from Zambia and Swiss pro Martin Rominger.
Liddle and Rominger returned 69s at Bloemfontein Golf Club, while Moore made the same number at Schoeman Park.
Warrick Moonieyan of the East London Golf Club claimed the shot of the day honours with an albatross at the par-five 18th. It was Moonieyan’s second career albatross, however his first in a competition.
At the end of the round four, the field of 273 hopefuls will be cut to the top 60 players and ties who will vie for the 30 cards on offer in the final round at Bloemfontein Golf Club on Saturday.