Rory McIlroy two shots ahead at delayed Malaysia Open

Rory McIlroy
McIlroy is trying to put his Masters disappointment behind him in Malaysia

Rory McIlroy built a two-shot advantage at 12 under after an incomplete third round of the rain-hit Malaysian Open.

Friday's rain left 77 players needing to finish round two on Saturday.

After more rain McIlroy had eight pars and birdied the ninth before bad light ended the day, while world number one Martin Kaymer shares fifth, three back.

Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and Masters winner Charl Schwartzel made the cut by a solitary shot after second rounds of 75 and 71 respectively.

Schwartzel picked up two shots in his 11 third round holes to move up to two under but Oosthuizen double bogeyed the 11th, his second, and lies joint last.

With the tournament having already been hampered by Friday's inclement weather, there was further disruption on Saturday morning when rain delayed proceedings for three-and-a-half hours and meant the third round did not begin until mid-afternoon.

McIlroy had begun to look frustrated by his failure to improve his score, missing a birdie putt from inside four feet on the seventh that was aimed two inches outside of the hole and stayed there.

But he rattled in a par putt from five feet at the eighth after his tee shot had trickled off the green and then rolled in an eight-footer for a birdie on the final green.

"I felt I probably should have been a couple better," the 21-year-old Northern Irishman said.

"I hit a couple of good shots that if they went a foot either way would have been great - the tee shot on eight and second shot on six - if they had just stayed.

"But it's ok. It's a solid start. I could have been two or three shots better off but it's obviously nice to hole that putt right at the end on the ninth and finish on a positive note. I've still got the lead but it is going to be a long day on Sunday.

"You've got to make every shot count out there. Twenty-seven holes in that heat is going to be tough. I've got myself into a good position and that's all that counts."

Three players share second place, including Frenchman Gregory Bourdy, who had the best scoring of the third round.

Bourdy, who began seven shots off the lead, collected seven birdies in his opening 10 holes to join McIlroy at the top of the leaderboard before dropping a shot at the 13th.

Alexander Noren is also 10 under after an eventful eight holes that contained only two pars.

The Swedish player led the field after two birdies in his first three holes but then double bogeyed the 136-yard fourth when his tee shot finished short of the elevated green, his first chip rolled back down the hill virtually to his feet and his third shot finished short in the rough.

McIlroy and Bourdy elected to complete the ninth hole after the horn sounded to signal the end of play, while Noren chose to leave his long putt until first thing in the morning.

Simon Dyson, who carded a 64 in the second round, played in the same group as McIlroy and Noren and will do again on Sunday as organisers confirmed the third round pairings will stay the same for round four.

Dyson dropped two shots in the opening nine holes of his third round, the first when his second shot at the fifth found the water after he appeared to be disturbed by a camera at the moment of impact, and he later missed a par putt from 18 inches on the eighth green.

Kaymer collected six birdies in his first 12 holes and will have the chance to set a challenging target on Sunday, when play will begin at 0740 local time in an attempt to finish the tournament on schedule.

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