Rory McIlroy, whose seven-stroke romp at Quail Hollow last year made him a two-time winner of the Wells Fargo Championship, hopes a return to Charlotte, North Carolina, will jumpstart his 2016 season.
“Quail Hollow and Charlotte has been a very good place for me in my PGA Tour career,” McIlroy said Wednesday of the course where he won his first US tour title in 2010 and was in a playoff in 2012.
In all McIlroy has five top-10 finishes in six appearances on the course well-suited to his length and accuracy off the tee.
“Being so comfortable and with the great memories I have here it all sort of adds up to a really enjoyable week but a week where I feel I can play well and strongly and have a chance to contend again,” McIlroy told reporters on Wednesday.
The four-time major champion hasn’t won on the US tour since his victory in Charlotte last year, and his last victory worldwide was in the World Tour Championship at Dubai in November.
After another disappointing outing at the Masters in April, McIlroy said he took some time off “just to recharge the batteries a bit”.
“I started to work hard last week and try to get the game back in shape,” he said. “There was a couple of things at Augusta I wasn’t really happy with.
“I’ve been working on my swing a lot, been working on a couple of tactical things. Hopefully I can continue to bed them in and hopefully get some competitive play as well.”
McIlroy will play the first two rounds with Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler — who won that 2012 playoff over McIlroy and D.A. Points.
Fowler said that after recent rain the course will set up even better for McIlroy.
“The length is a premium this year here more than others,” Fowler said. “If you can drive it a little bit further than other people and keep it in the fairway having a shorter clubs in it definitely helps here.
“If (McIlroy) drives the ball well this week, he will play well as he has done here multiple times. He has a very good record here.”