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Friday, 15 April 2011
Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy produced a superb eight under par 64 to move into a share of the clubhouse lead during the second round of the Maybank Malaysian Open.

Just five days after missing out on the Masters Tournament title having led for 63 holes, and having flown halfway across the globe since, the 21 year old Northern Irishman joined Swede Alex Noren (69) on 11 under par at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.

McIlroy had suggested after his opening 69 - the first time he had seen the course after his clubs failed to arrive on time, denying him a practice round - that others were more upset about his disappointing final round at Augusta National than he was.

And the World Number Nine certainly didn't seem too hung up as he reeled off three birdies in his first four holes after teeing off at the tenth.

He added back-to-back gains at the 16th and 17th, the first from 12 feet, to turn in a five under 31, and three more birdies on the way in completed a bogey-free round.

"I went out and played well," said McIlroy. "I have done for a couple of days but the difference was I holed a couple of putts.

"It feels good - I've got my swing in a nice groove. I feel comfortable shaping it both ways. I've been driving the ball pretty good which you need to around here. It's been really good, I've not missed many shots.

"I'm feeling good. I played well last week and I've continued that on to this week."

Asked whether he needed to prove a point by winning the former Omega Dubai Desert Classic winner added: "It would show more to everyone else other than myself that last week didn't set me back. I've started this week off great but I need to keep going and making birdies and shooting low scores if I want to win.

"Eleven under after two days here is a great effort considering I've travelled so far and not seeing the course. I'm happy with how I played."

McIlroy's effort matched Noren's opening round, and the former Omega European Masters champion mixed four birdies with a solitary dropped shot in his three under par effort.

Like McIlroy, England's Simon Dyson signed for a 64 which left him one off the pace in the clubhouse.

The top three had opened up a sizeable lead over the rest of the field - Australian Brett Rumford and Scotland's Stephen Gallacher tied for fourth on seven under.

World Number One Martin Kaymer had a one under 71 to be three under at the halfway stage, while on the course Charl Schwartzel - the man who claimed the Green Jacket last Sunday - was in danger of missing the cut after a bogey at the second left him two over for the week through two.

Play was suspended at 1537 local time due to lightning, with Italian teenager Matteo Manassero and Australian Scott Barr the best placed players on the course at six under par.

Manassero, who turns 18 on Tuesday, was level par for his round at the turn having been second overnight, while Barr birdied three of his first six holes.

Although Schwartzel returned to level par for his round by the turn, he was still one outside the projected cut line at one over.

Play resumed at 1815 after a delay of over two and a half hours, and Schwartzel immediately birdied the long tenth to move just inside the projected cut line.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1MANASSERO, MatteoITA18-16
2BOURDY, GrégoryFRA18-15
3MCILROY, RoryNIR18-14
T4CABRERA-BELLO, RafaESP18-13
T4NOREN, AlexanderSWE18-13
6AGUILAR, FelipeCHI18-12
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