McIlroy eager to get over Masters hangover at Quail Hollow

His comeback is compelling from a sporting perspective but Tiger Woods' resurgence is like gold dust for golf's PGA Tour

Peterson carded a six-under 65 at Quail Hollow, thanks largely to back-to-back eagles at the seventh and eighth holes Thursday. Hatton and Peter Malnati each had a 4-under 67 and shared the early lead in the opening round of the Wells Fargo Championship.

After posting an impressive three-under 68 in the opening round of the Wells Fargo Championship, Rory McIlroy clarified some eye-raising comments he made in his pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday.

Watch the Wells Fargo Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports Golf.

See the clubs Rory McIlroy used to win...

"I didn't mean it like that at all", McIlroy told reporters. Four of the top six players weren't even in the field last August.

While he birdied the 325-yard 14th with a brilliant bunker shot to eight inches, he bogeyed the 18th and now has his work cut out now to avoid a fourth missed cut in the U.S. this year.

Beginning on the back nine, Peterson drained a 45-footer at the 11th - his second hole - and posted a two-putt birdie at the 14th after driving the par-four green.

"At least I got myself in the final group, I gave myself a chance, and that will ultimately make next year easier when I hopefully get myself back in that position".

"I'm excited about the schedule I'm playing the next few weeks", he said.

There's no question that Quail Hollow is a major championship-caliber venue and it has attracted an impressive number of former major winners.

Rory McIlroy, the event's only two-time victor, is another shot off the pace in a 10-way logjam in seventh place after opening with a 3-under 68. There were a couple of balls that hit trees and came back into the fairway. A quick stop at the practice range solved that, and McIlroy was on his way. "Even if you don't hit it quite so well, you can still get away with it most times".

Four-time major victor McIlroy and 42-year-old Woods are both making their first starts after disappointing performances at the US Masters. He was 1 under at the turn.

The Northern Irishman clinched his first PGA Tour victory at Quail Hollow in 2010, while American Justin Thomas last August captured his first major on the same course. Neither did Aaron Wise, Michael Thompson and Tom Lovelady, who joined McIlroy at 68. "He's explosive", fellow pro Jason Day said of McIlroy.

McIlroy missed a short eagle putt on the 2nd hole and it all went downhill from there, with five bogeys following.

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