“It’s one of those golf courses that sets up well for me,” McIlroy said. “It fits my eye. I feel like I can play my game around here and that served me pretty well over the years. Hopefully, this week’s another good week.”

But bouncing back with a win won’t be easy by any stretch.

This week he faces a star-studded field that includes Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama and Reed, among others.

McIlroy didn’t play well here last year at Quail Hollow when it hosted the PGA Championship, but back spasms played a role. Now he’s healthy and eager to find the top of the leaderboard.

If he plays like he did in 2015, it won’t be close.

McIlroy shot a course-record 61 in the third round to take control, then added a 69 on the final day to finish 21 under. He had 27 birdies in all and hit some of the most memorable shots of his career, several of which he recalls in an instant.

“It was one of those times where you get in the zone and you’re very aware of everything,” McIlroy said. “Your senses, all of your senses are just a little more heightened.”