Rory McIlroy fired a five-under-par round of 66 to move into contention for a third career victory at the Wells Fargo International in Charlotte.
Playing in his first tournament since finishing in a tie for 21st place at The Masters last month, McIlroy shared the lead with American Joel Dahmen.
McIlroy, who earned his first PGA Tour win at the Quail Hollow venue in 2010 before reclaiming the title five years later, shot five birdies to leave himself in contention.
There was also a strong performance from Scotland's Martin Laird, who shot 67 to sit just one stroke behind McIlroy, in a group which also included former Masters champion Patrick Reed.
Justin Rose's bid to recover from his Masters disappointment did not go entirely to plan as he sat four strokes behind McIlroy after shooting a one-under-par round of 70.
Rose, who missed the cut at Augusta for the first time in his career, recorded three bogeys in an inconsistent round which looks unlikely to put him in a position to challenge the leaders.