Rory Back In The Groove At Old Stomping Ground

Rory McIlroy returned to the scene of his first PGA Tour victory and put himself well in contention after day one of the Wells Fargo Championship.

McIlroy is one of seven players at the front of the field after the first round at Quail Hollow in North Carolina the home of his maiden US victory in 2010. On that occasion Rory triumphed thanks to a spectacular closing 62 and, while he was not in quite that form on this occasion, the world number two brought his round to a gripping conclusion by holing an eight-foot putt for the sixth birdie of his day at the 478 yards 18th.

McIlroy, still looking for his first tournament victory this year, struggled early in the season to find his top form after switching his golf ball and clubs.

"I've made big strides," said McIlroy, who will turn 24 on Saturday. "My game wasn't where it should have been at all in the beginning of the year. Now I feel like I'm swinging it well. I've seen my game progress week by week. It's a nice start here this week."

The Northern Irishman is joined atop the leaderboard by Americans Nick Watney, Ryan Moore, Robert Garrigus, Daniel Summerhays, Derek Ernst and Monday qualifier Nate Smith. And the clutter on the leaderboard is not only right at the top, a group of six players that includes Zach Johnson and Phil Mickelson one shot back.

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