World golf number one Rory McIlroy and second-ranked Luke Donald gave the organisers and fans what they wanted when the pair set up a classic duel in the desert after the DP World Tour Championship third round.
The pair shot matching six under par 66s to sprint three strokes clear of their nearest rivals on 17-under 199 to be three shots clear and set up the head-to-head showdown.
Donald did not drop a stroke to par for the third day running while McIlroy was boosted by an inspired birdie-birdie-par-eagle burst from the 11th in the final event of the season on the European Tour.
South African compatriots and close friends Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel shot a 68 and a 67 respectively for third place.
The round of the day belonged to Jeev Milkha Singh who dedicated a sparkling 64 to his ailing 76-year-old mother back home in India after equalling the course record.
Singh, who became the first Indian to play in the US Masters five years ago, said his mother Nirmal was in intensive care in Chandigarh after having a bad fall in the garden.