Sunday 18 August 2019

WATCH: Rory McIlroy hits shot for the ages as he storms into the lead after inspired round at Wells Fargo Championship

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his second shot on the third hole during the first round of the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 02, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his second shot on the third hole during the first round of the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club on May 02, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Rory McIlroy produced a scintillating back nine as he stormed to the top of the leaderboard at the Wells Fargo Championship after an opening round of 66, tied for the lead with America's Joel Dahmen.

After a disappointing performance at The Masters left him waiting to add the only major he has failed to win in his career, McIlroy bounced back in impressive fashion with a thrilling final nine holes as he came home in just 31 shots.

Ripping drives that were piercing the fairways at one of his favourite courses, his short game was in good shape and he could even afford to miss a putt on the 18th hole as he moved into position to win his second PGA Tour event of 2019.

"I think I got the most out of my round today," stated McIlroy. "I always think that if you can get through the first six holes here, you will have a chance to make shot up and that's what I did today.

"I have got so many special memories here at this course. I have celebrated so many birthdays here, it's a home course as I am a member here and it is a course I feel very comfortable at."

The highlight of McIlroy's round came on the 12th hole, as he produced an audacious approach to the green and enjoyed some fortune as his ball dipped toward the hole off the back of a bunker.

"I thought the best chance I had was to stick it in the left trap and it just came out a bit better than that," he added. "It would have been nice to convert the putt, but it wasn't to be."

McIlroy confirmed that he has tweaked elements of his game after his failure to get into contention to win The Masters and those changes appear to have reaped instant rewards.

The American duo of Adam Schenk and Patrick Reid, Scotland's Martin Laird, Canadian Nick Taylor are all just one shot behind McIlroy and Dahmen heading into day two.

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