KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Rory McIlroy birdied his final hole of the day to move two strokes clear Saturday in the weather-hit Malaysian Open, while Masters champion Charl Schwartzel earlier narrowly made the cut for the third round.
Overcoming his recent final-round collapse at the Masters, Northern Ireland’s McIlroy moved to 12-under par after nine holes of the third round.
Rory McIlroy weathered the heat and rain to shoot a blistering round on Day 2 of the Malaysian Open.
Only a dozen players completed their third round after rain and lightning disrupted hours of play at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club for the second straight day.
Schwartzel just made the cut earlier Saturday when he carded 1-under 71 in the second round to finish on 144. The South African ended the day at 2 under through 11 holes of the third round. Top-ranked Martin Kaymer is at 9 under after 15 holes, moving up from 25th to sharing fifth place with Felipe Aguilar.
But it was Frenchman Gregory Bourdy who dominated the third round with seven birdies against a lone bogey through 14 holes. He and Italian teenager Matteo Manasserro were tied for second.
Defending champion Noh Seung-yul of South Korea finished on 145 in the second round, missing the cut to advance into the third round by one stroke.
“My swing was horrible and the ball was flying everywhere,” Noh said. “I changed my swing two months ago and I had an injury to my finger as well.”
Officials from the Asian and European Tours, which co-sanction the tournament, are expected to decide Sunday whether to extend the Malaysian Open to Monday for the first time ever. In 2006, the tournament at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club was shortened to 54 holes due to heavy rain.