Rory McIlroy continues to show flickers of life at the end of a disappointing season.

The golfer from Northern Ireland shot a 7-under 65 during the second round of the Australian Open on Friday, pulling into second place behind hometown favorite Adam Scott.

McIlroy has been hoping to grab his first victory of the year either at Royal Sydney or at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge in Thousand Oaks next week.

"As 7-unders go, I think it was a pretty comfortable one,'' he said of his eight-birdie day. "I don't think I did anything really spectacular out there.''

Wind and rain have challenged the players down under this week.

"There was plenty of good stuff in there, but I made a few mistakes in the tricky conditions," Scott said of his 2-under 70. "Overall it was pretty good. It was, at times, really difficult, and I think I held it together pretty well.''

Scott is trying to become the second player, after Robert Allenby, to win all three of his country's majors. He holds a two-shot lead over McIlroy. Richard Green, another Australian, is three strokes back in third.

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