McIlroy, who began the day three shots off the lead, birdied three straight before making the turn and began his record run at No. 12.
The world No. 1 drove the green at the par-4 14th hole, two-putting for birdie, got up-and-down for birdie at No. 15, and rolled in a 15-footer for his last of the day at the 16th hole for an 11-under 61 and an 18-under total.
“I just aimed at the flags today. It’s simple as that,” said McIlroy, who also set the 54-hole scoring record and posted his best round on the PGA Tour. “I was sort of aiming at a lot of middles of greens and trying to work the ball into the hole. I was taking dead aim a little bit more today.”
McIlroy first set the Quail Hollow course record in 2010 when he won his first PGA Tour title and it was matched last year by Brendon de Jonge.
Saturday marked McIlroy’s best competitive round as a professional.
“It’s going to be tough to beat him,” said Will MacKenzie, who was paired with McIlroy on Day 3. “I’m glad he doesn’t play every week.”