McIlroy appeared on the verge of a late run at the leaderboard before making a double bogey on the difficult par-three 17th hole. The world's top-ranked player appeared stunned when his tee shot hit the rock wall in front of the green and his ball caromed high into the air and into the water. He finished with a 70.
“One big mistake,” McIlroy said.
McIlroy had just made par on the 16th hole by hitting a 9-iron pin high from 166 yards. He went with an eight-iron from 178 yards on No. 17, but it wound up not being enough to carry the water when his ball got held up in the wind.
Despite the error, McIlroy said overall he was pleased with his round.
“I did what I wanted to,” said McIlroy, who won the event in 2010 for his first PGA Tour title. “I took advantage of the par-fives and made birdie on a couple of par-fours.”
Mickelson had his troubles too after a fast start.
Lefty opened with three birdies, but had a double bogey on the 18th hole when his tee shot wound up in the creek on the left side of the fairway. He shot 71, leaving him six shots back.
Mickelson has long expressed his affinity for Quail Hollow, saying it is suits his game perfectly. Yet, he is winless in 11 tries, although he has come close with five top-five finishes.
He got things off to a rousing start, sinking birdie putts from 6, 9 and 12 feet to start the back nine, drawing roars from a crowd. But the putts wouldn't fall for Mickelson after his initial burst.
“I turned a 66 into a 71 today,” Mickelson said.
While Mickelson faded after his strong start, Streb didn't.
After tying for 30th at The Players, Streb set the early pace with two quick birdies on the back nine and played a bogey-free round.
His 65 was the second-best opening round score of his brief PGA Tour career. He found his putting stroke last week at TPC Sawgrass and it was right there again at Quail Hollow.
Stewart Cink topped the six-player group at 67.
Defending tournament champion J.B. Holmes put himself in position to become the first repeat winner in the tournament's 13-year history by opening with a 69.
France's Joanna Klatten had five birdies in a six-hole stretch and finished with a 6-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the LPGA Tour's Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va.
Klatten birdied Nos. 3-6 and 8 and closed with a par on No. 9 on Kingsmill Resort's River Course. The 30-year-old former Georgia State player is winless in 27 career events on the LPGA Tour.
Morgan Pressel, Alison Lee and Pat Hurst were a stroke back, and So Yeon Ryu, Paula Creamer, Jacqui Concolino and Perrine Delacour followed at 67.
Michelle Wie withdrew because of a left hip injury after a 78. She had a double bogey, six bogeys and one birdie.
Third-ranked Stacy Lewis opened with a 69, and top-ranked Lydia Ko and Canadian teen Brooke Henderson shot 71.
Jeff Maggert birdied three of the final four holes for a five-under 67 and a one-stroke lead over Kevin Sutherland after the first round of the Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Ala.
Maggert held onto the lead at the first of the Champions Tour's five majors despite a bogey on No. 18. He said a hot start is nice, but patience will be important the rest of the week on a course where Kenny Perry won at seven under last year.
Maggert is seeking his second win on the 50-and-over tour after a victory in Mississippi last year. Sutherland is chasing his first senior title.
Maggert had five birdies on the first nine holes before an up-and-down finish. He had three bogeys and three birdies on the back nine, but did make a 20-footer for birdie from the fringe on No. 16.
Tom Watson, Colin Montgomerie and Wes Short Jr. were two strokes back at 69.