"There was only like seven or eight people and a golden retriever in the grandstands back there and they were getting loud", he said.
The scene of his famous first Major triumph when he lifted the US Open in emphatic fashion in 2011, McIlroy - celebrating his 29th birthday - failed to find that kind of form and slipped away from the leaders.
After his round, Woods said his putting struggles are "not fun", but he has made adjustments.
But this was a much different test. Day has found the desire than he lost last year, and the 30-year-old Australian does not feel that far off from that dominant run two years ago that took him to No. 1 in the world.
If he wins this week? "The score sort of flatters me", he said. It just played really, really hard, and I was totally OK shooting level par, 1 over. "And it was good to be able to come to a golf course like this where I know it's very hard". He starts Sunday four shots out of the lead.
The last time he played Quail Hollow on a Saturday, he tried to play out of the trees and made an 8 that took him out of contention in the PGA Championship.
The scoreable conditions helped several players that had early morning tee times to make their move on Saturday as well.
As hangovers go, this was a relatively mild one for Rory McIlroy.
Even with Peterson's big finish, there was some truth to Woods' assessment when he finished at 71.
If that's the case, those giving chase would probably opt for the softer side of Quail Hollow for the final round, just don't allow yourself to be lulled into a false sense of ease. "We're going to be on a world wide stage". "I know that there's a bunch of players in front of me that are trying to do the exact same thing and the guys behind me are trying to do the same thing". Woods stands minus-1 for the tournament, 212 overall.
Masters champion Patrick Reed (67) and Augusta National runner-up Rickie Fowler, who four-putted the par-three 17th for a double-bogey in his 68, are both among a group of five on four under. Woods gave a clinic and played ping-pong with the young golfers.
"I feel like I'm hitting the ball well enough and just trending in the right direction for next week", said Woods, who has won 79 career PGA Tour events and 105 professional tournaments overall. "If I just make a few putts, I should be 2- or 3-under par, which is fine". I definitely think it's just around the corner.
He was tied for 35th, his worst position after the opening round since he was tied for 61st at Riviera in February.