McIlroy charges into the lead

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Rory McIlroy’s blistering eight-under 64 has hoisted him into a share of the second-round lead at the Malaysian Open.

A blistering eight-under 64 has hoisted Rory McIlroy into a share of Friday’s second-round lead at the Maybank Malaysian Open.

And there is only an outside chance that he won’t still be there when Friday’s delayed round is continued on Saturday.

Latest news from the course was that the lightening that had forced play to be suspended at 15.37 (local time) had delayed the round long enough before it was resumed to see fading light force the organisers to later abandon play for the day with a large number of players still out of the course.

But at that stage, Italian teenager Matteo Manassero, who was level par for the day through 13 holes, keeping him at six under and five shots adrift of McIlory and Noren, seemed to be one of only two players with any chance of reeling in the leaders.

The other is little-known Australian Scott Barr who was three under for the day and six under for the tournament with eight holes still to play

In the meantime, the 21-year-old McIlroy had clearly shrugged away last week’s final-round implosion at the Masters when he posted eight birdies at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club to take his 36-hole score to 11 under heading into the weekend.

His second day heroics, coming after he found his clubs were missing on his arrival from Augusta, enabled McIlroy, who finally received them shortly before his first round tee-off, to join overnight leader Alex Noren at the top of the leaderboard, the Swede having followed his first-round 64 with a 69.

It was the exact opposite of McIlroy’s scoring story, the Holywood young gun having followed up on his 69 on Thursday by reeled off three birdies in his first four holes after teeing off at the 10th and then adding a further a five in his bogey-free round at the 10th, 12th. 13th, 16th and 17th.

He said: “I went out and played well. I have done for a couple of days, but the difference today was that 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.”

At this stage, with half the field still to finish their second rounds on Saturday morning, Simon Dyson was in second place at 10-under after he too had posted a 64 while Scot Stephen Gallacher (70) and Australian Brett Rumford (68)were tied for third.

Manassero and Barr were tied at 6-under with Spaniard Pablo Martin (65), Kiwi Danny Lee (67) and Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman (71), who had all completed their rounds.

World No 1 Martin Kaymer was another who had completed his round, but he was still struggling to find his old winning form and after adding a 2-under 70 to his first round 71, was in an eight-way tie at 3-under in 28th place

Kaymer seems to be following in Lee Westwood’s steps in so far as the World No 1 spot is concerned, for so far, at least, neither has been able to perform at their best while wearing the crown

Indeed, both might be wondering if the that coveted crown is jinxed in some way.

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