Woods holds halfway lead in Australia

    American Tiger Woods spent a record 623 weeks as golf's world number one, but currently finds himself outside the top 50.

    Story highlights

    • Tiger Woods leads at the Australian Open on nine under par after two rounds
    • The American has not been top of a tournament leaderboard since the Masters in April
    • Peter O'Malley is second on eight under, with fellow Australian Jason Day third a shot back
    • Pre-tournament favorite and 2009 champion Adam Scott is tied for 10th
    Former world number one Tiger Woods carded a five-under-par 67 in the second round of the Australian Open on Friday to surge to the top of the leaderboard.
    The 14-time major winner was on nine-under 135 through two rounds, and leading a tournament for the first time since the final day of the Masters in April. The American has not won a professional event since the Australian Masters in November 2009.
    Woods dropped out of the world's top 50 for the first time in 15 years last month and is now ranked 58th, but he belied that form slump with seven birdies -- offset by two bogeys -- to move one stroke ahead of Australian veteran Peter O'Malley.
    "I played well today," the 35-year-old Woods told his official website. "I could have been a little lower on my first nine holes. I felt like I really didn't miss a shot. Even though I shot five under, it felt like it could easily have been eight or nine deep.
    "I'm just being patient. It feels good to actually be playing properly instead of slashing the ball all over the place."
    O'Malley is playing in his first event since retiring from the European Tour after 23 years on the circuit, and the 46-year-old fired the only bogey-free round of the day -- a 66 -- to sit alone in second, one shot clear of compatriot Jason Day (68).
    American Bubba Watson shot a 70 to be fourth on six under, with Australian first-round leader Jarrod Lyle one shot back in a five-way tie for fifth after slumping to a 74.
    Alongside Lyle were American Nick Watney (73) and Australian trio Rohan Blizard (70), Greg Chalmers (72) and Matthew Jones (70).
    Pre-tournament favorite and 2009 champion Adam Scott was tied with South Korean Joon-woo Choi in 10th after shooting a one-under 71.
    Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy produced an eagle at the 17th, but the Australian's 74 left him nine shots adrift of Woods on even par.
    Meanwhile, English golfer James Morrison held the clubhouse lead after an incomplete second round of the European Tour's Singapore Open on Friday.
    The 26-year-old followed up his opening 62 with a 68 to be one shot clear of joint first-round leader Edoardo Molinari.
    The Italian, who started the day level with Morrison, could manage only 10 holes before play was suspended due to bad light at the Serapong course. He was -2 for the day to be on -11 overall.
    Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines was tied for third after completing a second successive 66, while Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez Castano was also on 10 under after completing nine holes at the Tanjong course.