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McIlroy chasing Chalmers in Sydney

Weekend Preview –PGA Tour of Australiasia – Emirates Australian Open –Australian Golf Club Sydney – Sydney, Australia –

Aussie Greg Chalmers posted a 5-under-66 in round two to capture the lead at the Emirates Australian Open – a shot clear of World No. 1 Rory McIlroy.

Chalmers, who missed the cut last week at the Australian Masters in Melbourne, managed seven birdies against two bogeys on his round. He won this title in 1998 and then again in 2011 holding off Tiger Woods for the triumph, which also helped him earn the Australasia Order of Merit.

At 444th in the Official world Golf Ranking, Chalmers has a difficult task ahead to keep Rory out of the winner’s circle. McIlroy is defending champion here and posted back-to-back 69s to start the week at the Australian Golf Club Sydney.

Three others are tied for second with Rory, while first-round leader Jordan Spieth headlines a group at T-6and 3-under alongside Bret Rumford.

Adam Scott rallied to get back into the tournament shooting 66. He is T-9 heading into the weekend.

Look for Chalmers to be the local favorite as a long shot to edge World No. 1 this weekend. At 50-to-1 betting odds to start the week at skybet.com, Chalmers will need his best game to fend off McIlroy.

Chalmers, who was third on the PGA Tour last season in Strokes Gained Putting, will need a hot putter to keep pace with the defending champion.

Other Golf news:

  • Several players struggled on day two in Sydney including Brendon de Jonge (75) and Steven Bowditch (74). Both are T-39 at 2-over heading into round three. Matt Jones, Marcus Fraser and Jarrod Lyle all missed the cut.
  • The Australian PGA Championship takes place Dec. 11-14 in Queensland at RACV Royal Pines Resort. The event is co-sanctioned by the One Asia and PGA Tour of Australasia.
  • Jamie Lovemark fired the round of the day in Sydney. After opening with 77, the American bounced back to shoot 65.
  • McIlroy, who won the European Tour’s Race to Dubai and finished third in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup, led the PGA Tour last season in Top 10s with 12 and in Strokes Gained Tee to Green.