Rory McIlroy bounced back from a late double bogey to shoot a 3-under 67 Thursday in his title defense at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Making his first start since a runner-up finish at the Masters, McIlroy ripped off five birdies in his first six holes at TPC Potomac to surge into the early lead. Just when it appeared as though he was continuing his fine play from Augusta National – where he closed with a bogey-free 64 – he stalled out the rest of the way.
McIlroy three-putted the 17th hole (his eighth of the day), then found the water with his tee shot on the par-4 fourth, leading to a double bogey. He followed with consecutive birdies to sit just two shots off the early pace.
“I’m still pretty happy with 67,” he said. “It could have been a 65 or a 64, but it’s still a good start.”
McIlroy is the defending champion at the Wells Fargo, though he won last year at Quail Hollow Club. That course isn’t hosting a regular Tour event this year as its prepares to host the Presidents Cup in September. This is McIlroy’s first appearance at TPC Potomac, which he described as a “very good golf course.” He won his lone U.S. Open just down the road at Congressional in 2011.
“This style of golf just sorts of suits me and I seem to play well around here,” he said.