He said at the time he had shot the stunning score despite being uncomfortable with his swing, words he repeated pre-tournament here. Then the storms arrived, and everything changed.
Jordan Spieth was eager to look for positives after his bid to win the PGA Championship was ended by a level-par 71 in the third round at Quail Hollow.
McIlroy twice won the Wells Fargo event at Quail Hollow, but the course was made considerably more hard for the PGA.
Matsuyama managed to post a 7-under, 64 on Friday to get to -8 for the tournament.
Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson have spent the last two holes running to their ball after striking it quickly in an effort to get the second round in before darkness. Of the 75 golfers who made the cut, 42 made pars, 30 made bogeys, three made double bogeys ... and nobody made a birdie. He said anyone who broke 70 was going great. After firing a one-over 72 in round one, he shot a two-over 73 in round two to fall back to three over.
But that was before the rain. Matsuyama is looking to win his first major.
Matsuyama has more experience on the big stage. Olesen did the same with six birdies and two bogeys.
Kisner is all about grit and a sharp short game.
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Unless he comes up with a colossal rally, Tiger Woods will remain the youngest player to complete the career Grand Slam. He has shot two rounds of 67 in the toughest conditions.
"I was trying to do just that, trying to play aggressive, see how many birdies we could make", Spieth said. I could and should have finished at least in the under-par zone.
It is the first time a player on the PGA Tour has recorded back-to-back eagles since Marc Leishman last November. He drove the green on the 301-yard, par-4 14th and sank a 15-foot putt for a 2.
"I'm probably not playing as well as I did at the end of a year ago".
And he can't wait to compete over the final two days of the tournament in hopes of raising the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday afternoon.
Mickelson, playing his landmark 100th major, will not be back, though, after shooting a three-over 74 in round two to finish at 11 over. Now, he wonders how much longer is season will last. I probably didn't quite hit it as well off the tee as I did yesterday, and wasn't putting myself in positions where I could go at a lot of pins.
"On to the weekend, to try to fire at stuff", Spieth said.
Rickie Fowler had six birdies, the kind of round that would put him in the lead - except for that triple bogey on the sixth hole.