McIlroy Climbs Right Back on the Leaderboard
By Stephanie Wei under European PGA Tour

McIlroy: What Masters?

Just days after his Masters Sunday collapse, Rory McIlroy has showed his impressive bounce-back ability at the weather-delayed Malaysia Open. The 21-year-old from Northern Ireland shot 69-64 to share the lead at the halfway mark with Alexander Noren.

McIlroy didn’t play any practice rounds because his clubs disappeared somewhere in the 27-hour flight time between leaving Augusta, GA, and landing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to a tweet, they arrived before his Thursday starting time, “Not to worry tweeps my clubs are safe and sound! Time to play some golf! It’s not about how many times u get knocked down, it’s how many times u get back up!”

After carding a three-under 69, Rory tweeted, “Solid first day in Malaysia! Body and swing felt surprisingly good considering all the travel. Roll on day 2!”

McIlroy suggested others were more disappointed about his final round 80 at Augusta than he was.

“It would show more to everyone else other than myself that last week didn’t set me back,” Rory told the European Tour website. “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.

“11-under after two days here is a great effort considering I’ve traveled so far and not seeing the course. I’m happy with how I played.”

If Rory can continue to play well over the weekend, it’ll help prove to the doubters that his collapse at Augusta won’t have a negative impact on him mentally. Then again, this is the Malaysia Open and not a major. Still, well played, McIlory. I’m pretty sure most will be cheering him on for the second Sunday in a row.

As for Masters champ and travel buddy Charl Schwartzel, he carded one-over 73 in the first round and one-under through 13 on Friday when play was suspended due to weather. Schwartzel, who will complete his round on Saturday morning, is flirting with the cutline.

McIlroy will get to catch up on some sleep while he waits for the field to finish play. Plus, he’ll be in the last group for the third.

(AP Photo/Vincent Thian)