When Rory McIlroy rolled in an 8-foot birdie putt on the 13th hole, he started thinking about shooting 59.
He didn't quite get there Saturday, settling for an 11-under 61 to break the Quail Hollow record and take a four-shot lead in the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C.
After making nine birdies in a 10-hole stretch, the top-ranked McIlroy pushed his 7-iron on the par-3 17th hole to the right side of the green 40 feet from the cup. He settled for par and the dream was dashed.
"I was a little disappointed with not finishing it off the way I wanted to, but still it was a great run," McIlroy said.
It was McIlroy's best round on the PGA Tour.
McIlroy is looking to become the first two-time winner of the event. At 18-under 198, he's on pace to shatter the tournament record of 16 under set by Anthony Kim in 2008.
He set the previous course record of 62 in the final round of his 2010 Wells Fargo victory, and Brendon de Jonge matched it last year.
"It's funny that it has happened here again," McIlroy said.
Webb Simpson was second after three rounds, four strokes back after a 68.
Changing schools: Greyson Lambert, who became the seventh Virginia quarterback to transfer since 2012. He was beat out for the starting job this year in spring practice.
Retained lead: Alberto Contador, through eight stages in the Giro d'Italia. He was injured in a fall Thursday, but his dislocated shoulder stood up to the mountain test.
Made history: UCLA's James Kaprielian and David Berg, who combined on a 10-inning no-hitter Friday against Arizona. It was the first no-no since the school began keeping records.
Triple threat: Sadio Mane, who scored the fastest hat trick — 2 minutes, 56 seconds — in Premier League history in Southampton's 3-0 victory against Aston Villa.
Russia and Canada to play for world title
Four third-period goals propelled defending champion Russia past the United States 4-0 in the semifinals of the hockey world championship and set up a final with Canada. Canada advanced to the final with a 2-0 shutout of the host Czech Republic. The finalists are by far the most decorated in world championship history, with Russia having won 27 finals, and Canada 24. Alex Ovechkin, making his first appearance in the tournament following the end of his NHL playoffs run, had a goal and an assist against the Americans.
Federer, Djokovic reach Italian Open final
Roger Federer dispatched Swiss countryman Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-2 in less than an hour in the Italian Open semifinals, while top-ranked Novak Djokovic delivered his best performance of the week, downing David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4.
In women's action, Maria Sharapova reached the final by overpowering qualifier Daria Gavrilova 7-5, 6-3 in an all-Russian matchup. Sharapova will face Carla Suarez Navarro, who rallied past second-seeded Simona Halep 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.
AROUND THE HORN
Champions Tour: Jeff Maggert birdied the final two holes in heavy rain for a 4-under 68 and sole possession of the lead after the third round of the Regions Tradition in Birmingham, Ala. Maggert moved to 14 under after entering the day tied for the top spot with Kevin Sutherland at Shoal Creek.
LPGA: Perrine Delacour took advantage of Alison Lee's late two-hole meltdown to take the third-round lead in the Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va. Delacour birdied three of the final five holes for a 4-under 67 and a one-stroke lead. She had an 11-under 202 total. Lee is one shot back.
Motocross: Eli Tomac opened the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season with a dominating victory in the Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento, Calif. Ryan Dungey of Belle Plaine, Minn., was second overall, finishing second in both motos.
Boxing: Gennady Golovkin stopped Willie Monroe Jr. 45 seconds into the sixth round, retaining his middleweight titles with his 20th consecutive knockout victory.
Auto racing: Ryan Hunter-Reay was the faster of two qualifiers for the Indianapolis 500. Rain washed out the rest of the session. The defending Indy 500 champion had a four-lap average of 229.845 mph. Carlos Huertas was the only other car to complete a run, posting an average of 228.235.
6Field goals made by Detroit Lions rookie Garo Yepremian — an NFL record at the time — against the Vikings on Nov. 13, 1966. Yepremian had no background in the sport (he played semipro soccer in Cyprus) and had connected on just one of his six field goal attempts since joining the Lions. Four of the six field goals were in one quarter, which remains a record, tied several times. Yepremian died Friday of cancer at age 70.