Rory McIlroy rebounds with 8-under 64

Updated: April 16, 2011, 8:32 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Rory McIlroy is rebounding quite nicely after his collapse in the final round of the Masters, while Masters champion Charl Schwartzel narrowly made the cut Saturday at the Malaysian Open.

McIlroy shot an 8-under 64 in the rain-shortened second round on Friday to share the lead with Alexander Noren of Sweden at 11-under 133. Noren had a 69 to go with his first-round 64.

Play at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club was halted for nearly three hours Friday before it resumed. Later, it was suspended because of thunder and lightning.

Schwartzel was among 77 players who failed to complete their rounds before play resumed Saturday. With the cut set at 1-over 145, Schwartzel survived with a 144 after shooting a second-round 71.

McIlroy led last week's Masters for 63 holes before a back nine of 43 crushed his hopes of winning a major tournament.

The 21-year-old from Northern Ireland said he's in "great position" heading into the weekend.

"It helps when you have a morning tee time here as you are up pretty early," McIlroy said of Friday's round. "I went out and played well, and holed a couple of putts. I've been driving the ball pretty good, which you need to around here."

Noren struggled with the tropical weather.

"I had 14 great holes, but the heat got to me and I was just counting how many holes I had left," he said.

Defending champion Noh Seung-yul of South Korea was not as lucky when the second round of the rain-disrupted tournament was completed Saturday. Noh was at 145, missing the cut by a stroke.

McIlroy and Noren were a stroke ahead of England's Simon Dyson. Stephen Gallacher of Scotland, 17-year-old Italian Matteo Manasserro and Australia's Brett Rumford are tied for third at 137. World No. 1 Martin Kaymer of Germany is 3-under 141.

Officials from the Asian and European Tours -- who co-sanction the tournament -- are expected to decide Sunday whether to extend the Malaysian Open to Monday for the first time. In 2006, the tournament at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club was shortened to 54 holes due to heavy rain.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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