Defending champion Adam Scott has climbed into the Australian Masters lead but feels he’s yet to achieve what he’s capable of at Royal Melbourne.

Adam Scott feels he’s plodded his way to the Australian Masters halfway lead but senses something special coming.

The world No.2’s bogey-free five-under-par 66 at Royal Melbourne on Friday was enough to give him a share of the lead with 22-year-old Victorian Nathan Holman, on nine under overall.

It left Scott well placed to successfully defend his title.

But it wasn’t enough to leave the US Masters champion totally satisfied.

After he had birdied the first three holes, he felt a stellar round might have been on its way.

He still does.

Numerous birdie putts just missed the hole as Scott strung together 11 straight pars after his initial run.

Even after picking up two late birdies to join Holman in the lead, another near-miss on the last stopped him taking it outright.

“I just kind of stayed patient and tried not to get too frustrated,” Scott said.

“It feels like I just plodded along and it wasn’t an exciting five under at all.

“It was just really steady stuff, which is pleasing.

“But I feel like there’s that round in me somewhere here soon where I can go low.”

There were no such complaints from Holman, who lives within minutes of Royal Melbourne and won the Australian Master of the Amateurs Championship at the course last year.

He’s relishing the chance to go head-to-head with his idol Scott on Saturday, in just his fifth tournament as a professional.

While it’s a dream match-up for the confident youngster, Scott admitted he knew nothing of Holman.

He’s happy to pass on advice, but tipped the up-and-comer wouldn’t need much.

“He’s nine under, equal leader, I think he’s doing pretty good,” Scott said.

Holman shared the round of the day, a six-under 65, with fellow local Matthew Griffin, who is tied for second on eight under with South Australia’s first-round leader Nick Cullen.

American world No.8 Matt Kuchar is alone in fifth spot on five under.

Earlier, Jarrod Lyle backed up his opening round one-over-par 72 with a 71 on Friday to leave himself one over.

That delivered his pre-event aim of making the cut in what is his first professional tournament in 20 months, after fighting cancer for the second time in his life.

But former champions Peter Lonard, Craig Parry and Bradley Hughes won’t make the weekend.