Part of complete coverage on
Is Rory McIlroy saving his best for last at Australian Open?
December 7, 2013 -- Updated 1525 GMT (2325 HKT)
World No. 6 Rory McIlroy is all smiles after enjoying a good day at the Australian Open.
- Rory McIlroy moves to within two shots of leader Adam Scott at the Australian Open
- The Northern Irishman cards a seven-under-par second round of 65 in Sydney
- Adam Scott 12 under heading into the final two days play
- The Australian shot a course record 62 on Thursday
(CNN) -- Is Rory McIlroy saving his best for last?
The Northern Irishman carded a seven-under-par second round of 65 at the Australian Open Friday as he bids to end 2013 with a bang.
Former world No. 1 McIlroy has endured a frustrating year, failing to find his best form with his new Nike clubs and slipping to sixth in the world rankings.
But the 24-year-old golfer finished the day with nine birdies, and just two bogeys to move to 10 under for the tournament, only two strokes off leader and Australian favorite Adam Scott.
"Obviously when you come to a tournament where you're one of the headline acts or main attractions, you want to live up to that billing I guess," McIlroy joked with reporters.
Garcia sorry for 'fried chicken' slur
Historic golfer's big triumph
"For the most part this year I haven't wherever I went. So it's nice," he added. "It's nice to reward the people that invite you down here and look after you so well."
The 2013 season has largely slipped by the two-time major winner McIlroy, who has struggled to recapture the form which saw him win four PGA Tour titles and two European Tour titles and the PGA Championship in 2012.
In contrast to McIlroy, Scott has enjoyed a stellar 2013.
The Australian has shot up to No. 2 in the world rankings, thanks in part to his first major triumph at the Masters in April.
The 33-year-old shot a course record 62 on Thursday and followed it up with a two-under 70 on Friday to move to 12 under for the opening two rounds.
Scott and McIlroy will be paired together for Saturday's third round at the Royal Sydney Golf Club.
"Obviously he (McIlroy) is one of the best players in the world, so I'm going to have to bring my best game and try and match it with him," said Scott.
He is aiming to complete the Australian Triple Crown, by adding the Australian Open titles to the Australian PGA and Australian Masters titles he has already claimed.
Robert Allenby in 2005 is the only player to have won the Australian Masters, Australian PGA and Australian Open in the same season.
Read: Scott's Masters triumph
Read: Tears of joy for Jason Day
Part of complete coverage on
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1251 GMT (2051 HKT)
It's a big dilemma: Be with your wife for the birth of your first child, or stay at work and try to earn $11 million. For Billy Horschel, it's a no-brainer.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1140 GMT (1940 HKT)
She's just 19 but Hyo Joo Kim is already showing she's ready for the big time after recording the lowest ever round at a major championship.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Masters champion Bubba Watson says winning the $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot would bring forward his retirement from the game.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1131 GMT (1931 HKT)
The world's top women golfers will be chasing a $3.25 million prize purse at one of the most stunning courses on the LPGA Tour.
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
Tom Watson selects Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup contest with Europe.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)
Ian Poulter, who has constantly haunted the U.S. in Ryder Cup golf, is back after being chosen as a wildcard by European captain Paul McGinley.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1540 GMT (2340 HKT)
Tiger Woods has split with his longtime coach Sean Foley after not winning a major during their four-year tenure.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1105 GMT (1905 HKT)
Success just keeps on coming for Rory McIlroy, but the world No. 1 is already targeting more titles following his second PGA Championship win.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
Today's five most popular stories