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Rory McIlroy & Alexander Noren share lead

Rory McIlroy shot an impressive 8-under 64 to share the early second-round lead with overnight leader Alexander Noren at the Malaysian Open on Friday.

McIlroy shrugged off last week’s final-round collapse at the Masters, sinking eight birdies at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club to sit at 11-under 133.

Noren added a 69 to his first-round 64.

Newly crowned Masters champion Charl Schwartzel was among the players yet to complete their second round, as he fought to avoid the cut.

Englishman Simon Dyson was one stroke off the lead after shooting a 64, while world No. 1 Martin Kaymer of Germany was eight strokes off the pace after a 71, one shot better that his effort Thursday.

McIlroy, who led the Masters for 63 holes before a back nine of 43 crushed his hopes of winning his first major, said he was in a “great position” in Malaysia heading into the weekend.

“It helps when you have a morning tee time here as you are up pretty early,” the Northern Irishman said. “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, meanwhile, struggled to remain focused in Malaysia’s tropical weather.

“I had 14 great holes, but the heat got to me and I was just counting how many holes I had left,” the Swede said. “The more times you lead the easier it is to get the win, but I think by competing a lot you get used to everything that happens in competitions.”


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