SUPERSTAR golfer Rory McIlroy has made a charge early in the second round of the Australian Open at Royal Sydney.
McIlroy picked up four shots on his front nine and then collected his sixth birdie of the day after almost driving the first hole - his 10th on Friday.
After 16 holes the Northern Irishman is 7-under for the round and currently shares the lead with Adam Scott, on 10-under.
Playing under threatening dark clouds, McIlroy was enjoying the best of the scoring conditions before rain and wind threatened to test Scott and the rest of the afternoon starters.
The one-time world No.1 and dual major champion birdied the 10th, 13th, 15th, 16th and 18th holes on a cracking outward nine before tapping in for another on the short par-4 1st.
Scott is due to tee off just after midday (AEDT) and there's every chance by then he might have lost his lead, despite shooting a blistering course-record 10-under-par on Thursday.
McIlroy climbed to outright second midway through his second round, with little-known internationals Ryan Yip and John Young Kim and South Australian Max McCardle sharing third at seven-under.
Jason Day, playing alongside Scott, will be trying to make up eight shots on his World Cup-winning teammate after carding a first-round 70.
South Australian left-hander Nic Cullen, who fired a one-over 73 on Thursday, had to withdraw before the start of the second round after spending the night in hospital with appendicitis.
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