Victor Dubuisson is one match away from becoming the first French golfer to win a World Golf Championships after coming from behind to beat Ernie Els at the Accenture Match Play Championship.
The 23 year old was three down after four holes to a player 21 years his senior after finding all sorts of trouble from the tee at the first, second and fourth – getting stuck in cacti at the latter.
But just as the four-time Major winner was threatening to run away with it, Els fluffed his chip at the eighth and Dubuisson got up and down for birdie to close the gap to two.
The Turkish Airlines Open winner then clawed back to one down at the ninth when Els missed the green and he stiffed his approach to eight feet and birdied.
Dubuisson took the 11th and 12th to lead for the first time, but Els birdied the 14th to square the contest once more.
The Frenchman took the 15th, but Els holed from 30 feet at the next and they remained level going up the last.
Els failed to get up and down from a greenside bunker at the 18th, allowing Dubuisson to lag his first putt close and claim the match one up to set up a final showdown with Jason Day.
Dubuisson put his bad start down to being nervous about taking on his idol Els in his first WGC event, saying: "It feels great (to win), especially because this morning I was not feeling comfortable.
"I didn't sleep very well and when I arrived at the course I realised I was in the semi-final of a World Golf Championship event against Ernie Els.
"I am a big fan of him, always watching him winning majors, and I was not as comfortable as the round before. That's why I had a poor start.
"I made three or four very bad shots and then I tried to focus again on my game and knew I had to play my best golf. That's what I did and proved my mentality is very solid."
Australia's Day is certain of achieving a career-high position in the Official World Golf Ranking after moving into the final.
Day beat American Rickie Fowler 3 and 2 at Dove Mountain and will climb to sixth in the ranking if he loses this evening's final, or fourth with a win.
The 26 year old looked to be cruising to victory when he led by three holes with seven to play, but lost the next two to give Fowler hope of mounting a successful comeback.
However, Fowler then bogeyed the 15th after chipping across the green and into a drainage ditch and the match came to an anti-climactic end as the American three-putted the 16th from six feet.
"I knew Jason was going to be tough," Fowler said. "He made quite a few good putts, he didn't give me a whole lot. He missed a par putt on 12 but other than that he played solid all day.
"On 15 I was in a tough position, I couldn't really make anything of it and 16 was a complete misread. Jason played well and he's going to be tough to beat this afternoon."
Day added: "I felt like I had a really good chance of having a shot of winning this week and I am really looking forward to it. I played some nice golf today so hopefully I can keep it going in the final."