CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA | It’s back to work for Rory McIlroy.
After a three-week post-Masters break, McIlroy is back at Quail Hollow Club where he is the defending champion of the Wells Fargo Championship, which begins Thursday.
“I think I’ve played 18 holes total since Augusta,” McIlroy said Wednesday before doubling that total with an afternoon pro-am round. “Working on the swing quite hard and feels like it’s getting more comfortable in what I’m trying to do and it’s just a work in progress, but excited to get back on the course and into competition tomorrow.”
McIlroy, who has a tie for third and tie for fourth in two World Golf Championship events this year, tied for 10th at the Masters but played his way out of contention with a third-round 77 when paired with Jordan Spieth.
The three-week break, which included some vacation time with his fiancée, allowed McIlroy to begin working on technical adjustments in his swing and ready himself for a grueling stretch that will run through the Ryder Cup in early October.
“The reason I took three weeks off after Augusta is I’m not going to have more than a week off until after the Ryder Cup,” McIlroy said. “There’s a lot of sort of week on, week off and there’s a lot of travel in there as well.
“You can’t play every week. You want to feel as fresh as you can for every tournament that you play so I feel that’s the best way for me to approach it.”
The only two-time winner of the Wells Fargo Championship (he also lost in a playoff to Rickie Fowler in 2012), McIlroy learned recently that a rehabilitated bald eagle named “Rory” had been released at Quail Hollow where two other bald eagles live.
— Wells Fargo Golf (@WellsFargoGolf) March 31, 2016
“It’s cool,” McIlroy said. “This is a place with great memories for me since 2010. It’s always nice to have your name on the board here as champion and now it’s nice to have something outside as well.”