McIlroy red hot in Malaysia warm up

Rory McIlroy flashed a major warning to his Maybank Malaysian Open rivals by firing a hole-in-one en route to a nine-under par 63 in the Pro-Am.

After a month away from the game, the Ulster teenager aced the 191-yard fourth as he prepared to chase his rookie win in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow.

Happy with his game, the former world amateur No 1 was just as impressed with his eight-year old playing partner Galvin Green.

McIlroy said: "Yes, I enjoyed my hole-in-one at the fourth. It was nice. But I played with a kid called Galvin and he made my day. He is absolutely awesome."

"I really can't get over how good he is. He is the World under-8 champion and is better than I was at his age. He is certainly an incredibly talented prospect for the future.

"Even though I played pretty well, he made me look pretty average."

McIlroy took the month of February off to recharge his batteries after playing three events in the Middle East in January.

And he could be a good bet to break into the winner's circle this week after taking a shine to the old-style Kota Permai course in the Malaysian capital.

He said: "It is my first time here and I am very impressed with the golf course.

"It is a very old fashioned, traditional layout and the greens are great. The rain has helped soften it up and the greens are rolling great."

McIlroy has missed just one cut from three starts this year with his best finish a share of 11th in Abu Dhabi in January.

Fellow Irishmen Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley are also hoping to make a move this week with the Dubliner keen to rack up some Ryder Cup points.

After missing the cut at the Johnnie Walker Classic in Delhi last week, McGinley says he's hoping for better in Malaysia and Korea over the next fortnight.

McGinley said: "It was a disappointing week last week. I was happy with my game and felt I played well but my scoring was bad.

"I was amazed at how good the scoring was on what was a very tricky and mountainous golf course. I have got two more weeks in Asia and I hope for better results."