"It's always nice to come back to a golf course and an event where you've played well before and you've have some really good memories and luckily this week is one of those weeks for me", McIlroy told reporters.
Tiger Woods got his putter to cooperate a little better on Saturday.
Phil Mickelson lies at 5-under after a superb 64, with Rory McIlroy back on 3-under after faring 10 strokes better than Friday with a 66. With his bare feet in the stream and the ball on the bank well above his feet, he hit a full wedge to the back of the green for a two-putt par.
Day's front nine was a bit quiet, with just one bogey and one birdie for an even-par 35, but he turned it on the back nine, starting with a birdie at the par-5 10th.
It was a tough adjustment for Woods and everyone else. "I made the last putt", he said. But that was surely nullified by the fact he's a menacing presence on the leaderboard once more at a Quail Hollow venue where he already has two wins to his name. Fowler is 6 shots off the lead and McIlroy is 7 shots off the lead, but both are capable of going low and winning this tournament.
Meanwhile, Justin Thomas looked nothing like a player worthy of second place in the world rankings as he shot a two-over 73 and missed a host of putts in the first round.
Day finished with a daring play on the 18th. "I'm just going to try to embrace everything that comes with tomorrow and hope I have a chance down the last".
"So I've got all the pressure on my shoulders, but I'd much rather be in this position than chasing".
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Especially when we got together to rehearse, we're looking at each other like we're just gonna sing, right? But, according to TIME , because of Justin's twang, the lyrics are often misheard as " It's Gonna Be May ".
And as well as those star players performed, they couldn't match Peter Uihlein, who shot 62 after a six-hole stretch that included five birdies and an eagle.
Nick Watney carded a 66 to be alone in second at eight under.
"I just stayed in my lane", Day said.
"I've struggled with the greens being as slow as they are", said Woods, who needed 31 putts on Thursday, when he made three birdies, and 33 putts on Friday.
Bryson DeChambeau also is at seven under thanks to a five-under 66 that featured six birdies and just one bogey. He starts Sunday four shots out of the lead.
"Boy, I would have taken that score this morning", McIlroy said.
The 42-year-old golf superstar made some significant progress in that area this weekend, shooting a three-under 68 in the third round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in the U.S. city of Charlotte, South Carolina. Woods sits at 1-under and nine strokes off the pace. But I wasn't at all, it was actually the other way, it was more clubface.