Since that disappointment, McIlroy revealed that he has been binge-watching TV box sets and reading psychology books.
Woods made a mixed start in Charlotte, North Carolina, shooting an even-par 71.
McIlroy said in the days that followed he spent time replaying bad shots in his head.
"I don't care about the U.S. Open or the Open Championship", he said during his press conference Wednesday, prior to the start of the Wells Fargo Championship.
A month ago, everything looked fine as McIlroy was in prime position to win the green jacket.
Woods plays alongside Masters champion Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka and they will start their rounds at 10 to 6.
"When I said, "I don't care", of course I care", protested McIlroy.
A wayward drive on 18 found the water hazard that runs along the left of the fairway, but the world number seven managed to escape with just a single dropped shot to hit the turn in two-under.
"I struggled a little bit with my game in the pro-am yesterday". I was sort of holding it together.
"Then with the pressure of Sunday trying to chase Patrick down, it never quite clicked for me".
Adding to his discontent was his failure to win the one tournament he's desperately trying to win.
Masters champion Patrick Reed was also level par, while world number two Justin Thomas finished two over on the same course where he won the PGA Championship past year.
The foursomes, in particular, pose challenges not seen by the independent contractors for most tournaments. "It is the most amount of eyeballs, the most amount of hype, the most amount of everything is at Augusta". When I asked him what his birthday plans would be, he said: "Hopefully, go out and shoot a 62". "I just think it stands alone in terms of the four majors and that's all I was trying to say".
Hatton and Peter Malnati each had a 4-under 67 and shared the early lead Thursday in the opening round of the Wells Fargo Championship.
The group at 1-over also includes reigning event champion Brian Harman, whose victory came at the Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, N.C., with Quail Hollow setting up for the 2017 PGA Championship.
The THIRD choice this week is the guy who holds the tournament record (-21), the course record TWICE (62, 2010; 61, 2015) and is the only multiple champ at this event.
It had been a hard season for the Holywood-native, who turned his year around in March with victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.