By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Imagine what score Ryan Moore might have posted if his putter had been more cooperative.
The 67 he shot in the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship certainly wasn't a disappointment. Quite the contrary, the round of 5 under was good enough for a share of the lead when Moore finished the first round.
Considering he hit all 18 greens in regulation, though, if Moore could have shaved a few of the 31 putts off his stat sheet, he might have opened a comfortable advantage.
"It was a really good ball striking day for me," Moore said in understatement. "... (I) just gave myself opportunities all the way around. Obviously, I wasn't able to convert all of them, but I made enough to keep some good, positive momentum throughout the round and just really carried it through the back side."
Moore said the greens at Quail Hollow, several of which have suffered due to the unseasonably long winter, rolled better on Thursday than during the practice rounds. He birdied the ninth hole, then added another at the 10th and closed with a 32 for the solid 67.
"I had hit good shots the first seven holes of the day on maybe the best seven greens on the whole golf course and didn't make any of them," Moore said. "And then I got on 9 and dropped a 25 footer. I think that just kind of created some positive momentum there. I was able to make a good putt on 10 and then made another really good putt on 12 just kind of carried me through."
Moore, who won his first PGA TOUR event at the 2009 Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., which is about 90 minutes from Charlotte, tied for fifth at Quail Hollow last year. He opened with a 65 to take a share of the first-round lead, then trailed by one entering the final round.
"It's hard to stay sometimes why you play well on certain golf courses," Moore said. "I enjoy this area, and I enjoy this golf course. It's one of my favorite tournaments of the year. Sometimes just having a positive attitude about it going into it can make you play well.
"But I think something about it just kind of suits me. It suits my eye. I like the shots, and I like bentgrass greens. They're obviously a little rough this year, but you can still make putts on them."