CHEONAN, South Korea (AP) — Rickie Fowler shot an 8-under 63 Saturday to take a four-stroke lead after the third round of the Korea Open as Rory McIlroy slipped down the field.
Fowler, the 2010 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, started the day in a five-way tie for the lead in a group that included McIlroy and defending champion YE Yang, before moving to a 13-under 200 total for the tournament.
Yang, playing in front of his home crowd, was in second after a 67, two strokes ahead of fellow South Korean Kim Meen-whee, who had a 66.
McIlroy struggled around the course to post a 73, leaving the U.S. Open champion 10 shots off the pace. A nightmare run of four bogies and one double bogey between the 9th and 16th holes all but rules out the prospect of the Northern Irishman improving on his third-place finish in 2009.
Fowler had no such problems as his eight birdies put him out of sight of the chasing pack.
“It’s long been a dream of mine to win a professional title,” Fowler said. “I want to take the opportunity that I have at the moment.”
Yang, the only Asian to win a major, birdied six holes but bogies at the 3rd and 17th left the Korean with much to do on Sunday.
Bronson La’Cassie of Australia, also five under after two rounds, emulated McIlroy by shooting a 73.