Rory in "different class" for Louis

South African star Louis Oosthuizen reckons stable mate Rory McIlroy is in a league of his own.

Rory McIlroy is in a league of his own for Louis Oosthuizen.The 2002 Irish Amateur Open champion, 26, played alongside the Ulster sensation when he grabbed his maiden victory in Dubai two weeks ago.

Speaking ahead of the Malaysian Open, Oosthuizen said: “It just looks like he's been out here on the Tour for 10 years because of the confidence he displays.

“I didn't turn pro till I was 20 and I was on the Challenge Tour before joining the main tour, so Rory's in a totally different class compared to what I was doing at 19.

“He's just in a different league among the youngsters out here at the moment.”

McIlroy’s close pal Gareth Maybin is hoping to keep the Ulster flag flying in steamy Kuala Lumpur and go one better than his play-off defeat in December’s South African Open.

Maybin said: “This is real shock coming from Ballyclare where there's snow and frost on the ground. This week is going to the hottest tournament conditions I've experienced.”

US Ryder Cup star Anthony Kim and Irishmen Peter Lawrie, Gary Murphy and Damien McGrane are also in the field.