Rory McIlroy takes the joint lead of the Malaysia Open

Rory McIlroy
McIlroy is showing no ill affects from his Masters nightmare

Rory McIlroy continued his recovery from his Masters disappointment by taking the joint lead of the rain-hit Malaysia Open with a second-round 64.

The 21-year-old, who blew a four-shot lead on the final day at Augusta, is tied on 11 under with Alexander Noren.

After lightning and rain delayed Friday's play, 77 players had to complete round two on Saturday morning.

Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Open champion Louis Oosthuizen both survived the cut by a single stroke.

By the time the bad weather arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Friday McIlroy was already back in the clubhouse following a flawless round of golf that saw him sink eight birdies.

He started on the 10th tee and rattled off three birdies in his first four holes, before following up with a cool 12-foot putt at the 16th and another three at the par-four 17th.

Coming home, McIlroy added three more birdies to move alongside first-round leader Noren, who fired a three-under-par round of 69 to add to his opening-day 64.

"I played really well," said McIlroy. "The difference was that I made putts."

And when asked whether his round had proved to him he was over his Masters misery, McIlroy said: "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."

Englishman Simon Dyson also fired a 64 to move into third, while Scotland's Stephen Gallacher is on seven under and a share of fourth alongside Australian Brett Rumford.

World number one Martin Kaymer added a 71 to his first-round 70 to reach the halfway mark on three under, as he tries to bounce back from failing to make the cut at Augusta.

Defending champion Noh Seung-yul of South Korea was not as fortunate, however, as three bogeys in four holes around the turn contributed to a 72 that saw him the wrong side of the halfway axe by one shot.

"My swing was horrible and the ball was flying everywhere," he lamented. "I changed my swing two months ago and I had an injury to my finger as well."

The third round will begin from the first and 10th tees later on Saturday and officials from the Asian and European Tours - who co-sanction the tournament - are expected to decide on Sunday whether to extend the event 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.

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