And he wasn't alone.
McIlroy also made a move with a five-under 66 to stand at three-under 210.
Woods three-putted twice for bogey, including the par-3 sixth hole when he had a downhill birdie chance from about 18 feet.
The difference, however, was that he was able to make several birdies this time.
Tiger Woods reacts after an improved showing in the third round at the Wells Fargo Championship.
McIlroy, the only two-times victor of the Wells Fargo Championship, will tee off in Thursday's opening round alongside Englishman Paul Casey and American James Hahn.
And so it goes for golfers, who seemingly always believe that the score could have been lower. He starts Sunday four shots out of the lead. McIlroy had to settle for a 66. Both, like Woods, began the day well back. He led the field in Strokes Gained: Putting and was second in proximity on a day where he signed for a bogey-free 64. He would shoot a round of 67 as he carded 5 birdies and 1 bogey. "I just think that the different conditions where there was no wind and we had overcast, which just kept the course a little bit less firm. So trying to piece it together, but if I can do a little bit of practice this afternoon, hold it together tomorrow and then try and make some improvements before next week". Quail Hollow Club played over 220 yards shorter on Saturday and obviously easier than the first two rounds. Nor did the fact that there would be a good number of people between him and 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. He has seven top-5 finishes.
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Day was at 10 under and is on target for a second victory this year.
As for the putting, Woods said he made an adjustment that made him "more handsy, " allowing for a firmer stroke. He will be in the final group for the first time in almost four years as he tries to win for the first time since a back injury two years ago. "So to turn it into a bogey.it gives me a shot tomorrow".
"So hopefully this week is another good week and the start of a pretty busy stretch for me so I am looking forward to kicking that off in a positive fashion".
Birdies at the fourth and seventh were followed by an eagle at the 10th, where Mickelson holed a 30-footer.
"Then a nice shot into the ninth hole for a tap-in birdie and a good drive down 10 kind of really started getting things in the right direction".
Now, this isn't mockery - reading over Woods' news conference transcripts for his three rounds, especially Saturday, the pages are littered with phrases like that. "The first two days definitely felt more like a U.S. Open and today it was definitely more benign and you were able to get after it". "I hope, not, but it seems like it".