McIlroy will be eager to haul himself back into contention for the Wells Fargo Championship and make up for that six-five finish.
That would be Geno Bonnalie, who two years ago when McIlroy parted with his caddie put out a mock application for the job on social media that began by taking credit for guiding Dahmen to a tie for 68th in the Reno-Tahoe Open.
He had an wonderful back nine to thank for his advantage, having been level par at the turn before going eight under over the last nine holes to end Saturday's round at Genzon Golf Club on 17 under for the tournament.
Home favourite Wu struggled with a level-par 72 that dropped him to fourth, a run of four straight bogeys from the 12th to 15th holes costing him.
"All you can ask for is to have a chance", Homa said.
Rory McIlroy says that he has found the greens at Quail Hollow Club the most challenging this week due to the firmness and trickiness in play. "I think I did that today".
He continued that good form after the turn, rolling in a nice putt for a birdie at the third and then picking up another shot at the par-five seventh to leave him in a good position.
That's when the second horn sounded to stop play.
A good showing at Quail Hollow is important ahead of the rescheduled US PGA Championship, which is held at the Bethpage Black course in NY in a fortnight's time.
"Every time I step onto this golf course, I feel like I have a chance to shoot a good score".
McIlroy almost holed out from the middle of fairway 99 yards away on the par-4 12th when ball just missed rolling backward into the cup with some backspin.
"You're sort of wearing out your 6- and 7-irons, which is not really the case for a lot of other courses", McIlroy said.
The top of the leaderboard looked similar to when the round started, except that McIlroy and Perez are a lot closer, and they all have a lot more company.
Another shot behind was a group that include Sergio Garcia, who shot 30 on the front nine in the morning on his way to a 65, and Rickie Fowler, who had a 66.
World number 230 Dufner, 42, who won the last of his five PGA Tour titles in 2017, carded an eight-under 63 to reach 11 under for the tournament.
Spokane's Alex Prugh shot even-par 71 and is 10 strokes behind the leaders.