SECOND ROUND LEADERBOARD: (GB & Ire unless stated)
-11 R McIlroy, R Ramsay, M Hoey -10 S Dyson, M Ilonen (Fin), A Forsyth, R McGowan -9 D Dixon, K Ferrie, J-M Lara (Spa)
Selected others: -8 O Wilson, D Clarke, P McGinley -6 T Bjorn -4 P Harrington, L Westwood +1 C Montgomerie
McIlroy (right) along with playing partner and father Gerry
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy holds a share of the halfway lead in the Dunhill Links championship after firing an 11-under par, second-round 65.
Starting at four under, the 20-year-old hit one bogey but also six birdies and an eagle at St Andrews in Scotland.
He is joined in the lead by fellow Northern Irishman Michael Hoey and Scot Richie Ramsay, with first round leader Thomas Bjorn dropping back after a 74.
The pro-am event takes place at Kingsbarns, St Andrews and Carnoustie.
McIlroy, who needs a top-two finish to go top of the European money list, looked to have damaged his chances of topping the leaderboard after producing his only bogey of the round when he three-putted the 16th.
However, as he did two years ago on his way to claiming third place in the 2007 Dunhill championship, he birdied the famous Road Hole 17th.
Another birdie on the 18th followed to complete a round that also included a superb eagle on the par five 5th.
The world number 24 admitted afterwards that his round had been made even more special for playing alongside dad Gerry.
"Growing up I never thought he'd be able to walk up the 18th at St Andrews with me in this big a tournament. It's fantastic," he said.
Ramsay, who was called into the event late last week due to the withdrawal through injury of Paul Casey, hit seven birdies and a bogey in a round of 66 at St Andrews.
This year's Portuguese Open winner Hoey matched Ramsay's score with a bogey-free round, which included an eagle on the 514-yard 14th.
After an opening round 64 at Kingbarns, Bjorn struggled at Carnoustie, hitting three bogeys before double-bogeying the 18th to leave him joint-20th on the leaderboard.
Henman (left) along with playing partner Montgomerie (right)
One stroke behind the leaders are another Scot Alastair Forsyth, English pair Simon Dyson and Ross McGowan and Finland's Mikko Ilonen.
Ryder Cup trio Oliver Wilson, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley are all at eight under and Luke Donald only one further back.
The tournament pairs professionals with amateurs and is played over three of Scotland's best-known courses.
The leading 60 professionals and the top 20 teams after three rounds make it through to the final 18 around the old course at St Andrews.
Tim Henman continues to impress, playing with partner Colin Montgomerie.
The duo are 13 under par in the team event, but the Ryder Cup captain is one over and in serious danger of missing the cut.
Australia's former Test cricket captain Steve Waugh, playing off a nine-handicap with compatriot Scott Strange, leads at 21 under and had five gross birdies himself in an impressive better-ball 58 at Kingsbarns.
The remarkable one-legged golfer Manuel De Los Santos is still on course to make the cut with England's Richard Bland.
After a 66 at Kingsbarns they went three better at Carnoustie to be in a tie for 13th on 15 under.