American Rickie Fowler carded a flawless round of eight-under 63 on Saturday to equal the course record and establish a four-shot lead over defending champion Y.E. Yang after the penultimate round in the Korea Open.

The long-haired Californian, still seeking his first career victory, surged ahead with five birdies before the turn and three more in the back nine for a bogey-free round after starting the day tied for a five-way lead.

World number three Rory McIlroy, who had the overnight share of the lead, slipped out of contention with a round of two-over par 73 to lie 10 shots behind Fowler at joint-fourth.

I had a good round and I can't complain with a 63, the 22-year-old Fowler, one of golf's most exciting young prospects, told reporter after the third round at the Woo Jeong Hills Country Club.

Going into the round I wanted to drive the ball well and make some putts, and I was able to do that and that puts me in a good position.

My goals were to drive well and putt well, but my overall game was also good.

Fowler, at 13-under 200 after the third round, will be chased by Yang, the first Asia-born man to win a major at the 2009 U.S. PGA Championship, and fellow Korean Kim Meen-whee Kim, who was six shots off the lead.

I think I can win, Fowler added. I feel good about my game and I'm in a great position, which is right where I wanted to be coming into the week.

McIlroy lost the plot between the ninth and 16th holes during which he dropped six shots but the U.S. Open champion dug deep with birdies on the last two holes.

I had a good finish, but it was not my best day. I played quite nicely over the first few holes, but the pin positions were very tricky, the mop-haired Northern Irishman said.