Rory McIlroy was in action on Thursday at the Wells Fargo Golf Championship in Charlotte.
McIlroy kept the ball in play at Quail Hollow and gave himself plenty of birdie chances on a cloudy, soft afternoon. He ran off six birdies in a seven- hole stretch around the turn and finished with an eight- foot birdie putt for a 5- under- par 67 to share the lead with six other players.
It was the first time this year that McIlroy would be breaking par in an opening round and the first time he’s been atop the leader board after any round.
“Now that I feel like swinging it well, this is the sort of golf I expect to play,” McIlroy said.
Ryan Moore, Robert Garrigus , Nick Watney and PGA tour rookie Derek Ernst shot 67 in the morning. Daniel Summerhays and Nate Smith, a Monday qualifier, joined McIlroy by posting their 67s in the afternoon.
Phil Mickelson and Lucas Glover were in large group at 68, with 19- year- old Jordan Spieth in another big group at 69.
Going into the Wells Fargo Championship, the shape of the green has been the talking point of the event as two of the putting surfaces had to be entirely replaced by sod just a week ago. The tenth green had to be sodded twice and the other greens were ragged. Some had ugly patches of brown where there was no grass, but they weren’t as bad as players feared.