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Wells Fargo Championship: Rory McIlroy makes strong start as Xander Schauffele leads at Quail Hollow

Rory McIlroy is in tied-second as he chases a record fourth Wells Fargo Championship victory; Xander Schauffele set the pace after an opening-round 64; Live coverage continues on Friday from 4pm on Sky Sports Golf

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Highlights of the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship, from the Quail Hollow Golf & Country Club

Xander Schauffele jumped into a three-shot lead after the opening round of the Wells Fargo Championship, with Rory McIlroy part of the chasing pack as he bids for a record fourth victory at the event.

Schauffele mixed an eagle and six birdies with a lone bogey in an opening-round 64 at the Quail Hollow Club, giving him a commanding advantage over McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Alex Noren.

The Olympic gold medallist started on the back nine after a weather-delayed start and birdied five of his opening eight holes, then cancelled out a bogey at the 18th by almost holing his second shot into the par-five seventh and converting the five-foot eagle putt.

Xander Schauffele watches his tee shot on the 10th hole during the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament at the Quail Hollow Club Thursday, May 9, 2024, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Erik Verduzco)
Image: Xander Schauffele set the pace after a seven-under 64

Schauffele scrambled a par at the eighth after a wayward drive towards the rocks, before a six-foot birdie on his final day moved him to seven under in the latest of the PGA Tour's Signature Events.

McIlroy - winner of this event in 2010, 2015 and 2021 - had earlier jumped top of the leaderboard by following three consecutive birdies from the third by draining a 50-foot eagle at the par-five seventh.

The Northern Irishman reached the turn in 31 despite dropping a shot at the ninth before an eventful back nine saw him card three birdies and as many bogeys, leaving him tied-second on four under.

"I'm hitting the ball really well again, with some of the shots that I hit out there today with the driver and some of the iron shots much better," McIlroy said. "It was good to play a solid round of golf today. Left a couple out there, I feel, but at the same time I've got three more days to try to build on what I've done today."

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Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, waves after making a putt on the 17th hole during the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow on Thursday, May 9, 2024, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Erik Verduzco)
Image: Rory McIlroy carded an eagle, six birdies and fourth bogeys during an eventful first round

Morikawa was on five under until he failed to get up and down from the sand on his final hole, while Noren birdied the par-four last to make it three players on four under.

Two-time PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas and former world No 1 Jason Day are in the group of seven players sharing fifth, with Jordan Spieth a further shot behnd after an opening-round 69.

Live PGA Tour Golf

Watch Rory McIlroy in action at the Wells Fargo Championship and the PGA Championship this month live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues from Quail Hollow on Friday from 4pm. Stream the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, majors and more with NOW.

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