Twelve players are within a shot of the lead on a cluttered leaderboard at the Emirates Australian Open midway through the second round.
Overnight leader Jordan Spieth gave back a shot after following his first-round 67 with a one-over-par 72 today.
He held a share of the lead with Victorian youngster Geoff Drakeford, who is playing his first tournament as a professional. Drakeford carded a one-under par 71 today to add to his 69 yesterday. Two other Victorians — Richard Green and amateur Todd Sinnott — along with Western Australia's Greg Chalmers also are at three-under.
Five players were tied on three-under par and another seven are just a shot adrift at two under, including world No. 3 Adam Scott, who bolted around The Australian in a 66 to soar back into contention.
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who began in the afternoon at two-under, slipped back to one-under after some travails in The Australian's water hazards. The Northern Irishman flared his tee shot at the par-three fourth hole into the pond near the green, and then spun a lob wedge from 74 metres into the pond that guards the right of the seventh green.