Rory McIlroy says the atmosphere with the fans back outside the ropes on the PGA Tour has helped him find some form.
The four-time major champion is in the hunt for a third Wells Fargo Championship crown after a third-round of 68 saw him move into a tie for second ahead of tonight's final round on seven-under.
A blemish-free front nine of 31 - including four birdies - saw McIlroy produce some of his best putting this season.
A double-bogey six on his 12th hole threatened to undo his good work, but a steady finish ensured he is within two shots of leader Keith Mitchell.
"It was buzzy, that atmosphere," McIlroy, now ranked at number 15th in the world, said after his third round.
"There was certainly a buzz, especially I got it going there on the front nine. It was just so cool to play in an atmosphere like that again."
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The Down native says he has missed the fans on tour.
"I didn't think I would miss it as much as I did, but I really have.
"So, to be in contention, to have the fans back, I really enjoyed it out there today and I'm excited about tomorrow.
"It's going to be cool. I said I didn't think I would miss it as much as I did when we came back.
"I felt that I actually enjoyed the quietness, but I realised that it's hard for me to bring the best out in myself without the kind of atmosphere that we had today."
McIlroy was previously a winner at Quail Hollow in 2010 and 2015. He also lost in a play-off to eventual winner Rickie Fowler in 2012.
He has not tasted victory on tour since his triumph at the WGC-HSBC Champions event in November 2019, however.
"It's a golf course that I am comfortable on," he said, assessing his prospects ahead of the final round.
"Going into a final round tomorrow with a chance to win, I feel like I need everything I can get to try to get over the line.
"For me to be in contention for the first time in a while and for it to be here is probably beneficial."
Seamus Power will resume from five-over, while Shane Lowry is one shot further back.
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