A third round 67 has put Rory McIlroy back in contention at the US PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

The defending champion was still level for the tournament after 12 holes on Saturday but birdied the 13th, holed from 50ft for another on the 17th and then chipped in on the 18th to move to three under par.

"I probably made up at least three, three and a half shots on those last two holes," said McIlroy, who has been watching videos of his eight-shot win last year for inspiration after carding just one top-three finish so far in 2013. His victory at Kiawah Island was one of five in 2012.

"It's getting there. It was good to feel the sort of rush again. I felt it a bit in San Antonio this year (where he finished second to Martin Laird). Making a birdie on 17 is like an eagle and then to follow it up with another on the last is even better.

"I knew they were going to toughen the golf course up today. I sort of thought two 65s would still have a chance, 10 under par. But the way the conditions are with the swirling wind, it's tricky out there. I felt like I still had a chance.

"Every time I'm in that position I just think back to Quail Hollow a few years ago and what I did on the weekend there (winning with rounds of 66 and 62). It gives me a bit confidence knowing that I've been in that position before and I've been able to win.

"I know this is a major championship and it's a bit different, but I felt good enough about my game that I could go out there and post a good one today and at least give myself a chance going into tomorrow."

Asked if he knew that the leaders had been struggling, McIlroy added: "Yes, very aware. I'm going to enjoy watching this afternoon."

Graeme McDowell is next best of the Irish at two over after carding a 73. Both Shane Lowry and Darren Clarke stand at six over after respective third rounds of 75 and 74.