Scott holds off charging McIlroy

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Adam Scott held a two-shot advantage over Rory McIlroy as the tournament's star players moved to the top of the Australian Open leaderboard at Royal Sydney yesterday.

Scott shot 2-under-par 70 for a two-round total of 12-under 132. McIlroy, playing in the morning and avoiding the rain and storms that later hit the course, had a 65.

Scott and McIlroy will play together in today's third round.

"It was always going to be a day where you just had to hang on," Scott said of the tough conditions. "He (McIlroy) is one of the best players in the world so I'm going to have to bring my best game."

Australian Richard Green shot 66 and was three strokes behind Scott, who is trying to add the Australian Open to his Australian PGA and Australian Masters titles to become the second player after Robert Allenby in 2005 to capture the Triple Crown of Australian majors.

McIlroy felt lucky to have escaped the worsening conditions. "The weather wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be and the wind didn't pick up. So I knew we could take advantage of that, and the greens were a little bit softer as well."

Kevin Streelman, who played with Matt Kuchar in the American team at last week's World Cup, retired on the fourth hole due to an eye infection. Playing for the first time in Australia, he was later taken to hospital.

Streelman, playing with Scott and Jason Day, shot 70 in the opening round and began yesterday's round with a birdie. But as his eye condition worsened, he had a 5 on the par-3 third and a bogey on the par-4 fourth before deciding to retire.

"It's pretty rough right now but we'll see what we can do," Streelman said. "The doctor said it was pretty badly infected."

Streelman won the PGA Tour's Tampa Bay Championship in March and finished second with Kuchar behind Day and Scott in the team event at the World Cup in Melbourne.

In Jakarta, Thailand's Prom Meesawat showed no signs of a hangover from a playoff defeat two weeks ago when he shot a second-round 5-under 66 at the weather-disrupted Indonesia Open yesterday.

The burly Thai, who lost to China's Liang Wenchong in a playoff in Manila, put himself in a strong position to win a second Asian Tour title since 2006 after compiling a 9-under 133 total.

Thai stars Thongchai Jaidee and Thaworn Wiratchant, both former Indonesia Open winners, fired a 67 and 64, respectively, for identical 134s in the morning before play was abandoned at 3.46pm local time due to lightning threats.

Overnight leader Gaganjeet Bhullar of India played through 16 holes on 10 under while playing partner Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand was on 9 under with two more holes to play. They will return early today to complete the second round alongside 52 others.

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