McIlroy can impress Faldo

By Brian Keogh

Rory McIlroy can impress Ryder Cup skipper Nick Faldo in this week's Hong Kong Open.

The Holywood ace, 18, has had nearly four weeks off to recharge his batteries after a whirlwind start to his professional career.

And with Faldo also teeing it up at Fanling, McIlroy has a golden opportunity to show the Ryder Cup skipper that he's a serious contender for a place at Valhalla next September.

Faldo said: "There are likely to be players in the field who have come through the Faldo Series in Europe and Asia, so it will be rewarding to see them first-hand."

Ranked 21st in the Ryder Cup race, Faldo protege McIlroy is determined to build on his brilliant start to his pro career by racking up his first cheque of 2008.

Speaking from Hong Kong, McIlroy said: "The break was fantastic. I just lay about and put the clubs away for a couple of weeks.

"I had to do a couple of corporate days for my sponsor Jumeriah in Dubai before coming to Hong Kong.

"But apart from this week and the Mastercard Masters in Melbourne next week, that's me for the year.

"It would be nice to play well the next couple of weeks, have some time off for Christmas and then get back out there again."