Rory McIlroy roared into a share of the first round lead in the weather delayed Abu Dhabi Championship on Friday.

The Ulster teenager, 19, played the last five holes of his opening round in two-under for a superb 66 that allowed him to join overnight pacesetters Johan Edfors and Mikael Lundberg of Sweden at the top of the leaderboard on six-under par.

Padraig Harrington, meanwhile, completed a one-under par 71 on Thursday and admitted he is already in Masters mode.

Targeting the third leg of his 'Paddy Slam' in April, Harrington plans to play only six more events on the US Tour before arriving in Augusta.

He was reasonably happy with is first round effort, which he began with ten straight pars before carding two birdies and a lone bogey in his last eight holes.

Easing his way into the event, the reigning Open and PGA played steady golf but finished the day five strokes adrift of Edfors and Lundberg, who opened with rounds of 66 on what was a good day for the Irish.

“I felt reasonably good, coming at the end,” said Harrington, who birdied his second, bogeyed the sixth and then bounced back with a birdie at the seventh. “I was disappointed to make the bogey on six, and had two reasonable chances certainly with shots into the last two greens. So maybe a shot or two better would have been certainly what it felt like.”

McIlroy managed to play 13 holes in four under par on Thursday before fading light forced him to call it a day after two hours had been lost due to an early morning hailstorm.

But he came out early on Friday morning to finish the job and picked up birdies at the 15th and 18th to grab a share of the lead in his first start of the season.

The 19 year old, who is the youngest player to make the top 40 in the world, is still seeking his maiden tour win after a meteoric start to his professional career.

Last season he made two play-offs and racked up seven top-ten finishes in his last ten events of the season to became the youngest professional in history to qualify for the Masters.

While it will be McIlroy's first Major appearance since he lit up the 2007 Open at Carnoustie by carding the only bogey free round of the opening day en route to claiming the Silver Medal as leading amateur, Harrington already has his sights set on claiming his fourth Major title at Augusta National in April.

"It's there in front of me," said Harrington, who finished tied fifth in Georgia last year, his third top 10 finish in the youngest of the four Majors. "It's reasonably close. The next Major is always the focus. I have had my eye on it ever since August. I'm only going to play seven tournaments before the Masters, this being one of them. So that's not many tournaments but if I'm disciplined, I should be ready to go at the Masters.

"Augusta is the ultimate test. It tests all elements of your game so if you can play around there, you can play anywhere."

Paul McGinley joined Gary Murphy on three under par when he completed a 69 as play resumed early in the day with Damien McGrane on two under after a 70 and Peter Lawrie battling to make the cut after an opening 73.