Sergio Garcia took a four-shot lead into the final nine holes of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic as he went in search of a 12th European Tour title.
The Spaniard entered the day with a three-shot lead and turned in 33 to get to 18 under and increase his advantage over Open champion Henrik Stenson and South African George Coetzee.
Dane Lasse Jensen and England's Tyrrell Hatton were then at 12 under as the final event of the Desert Swing at Emirates Golf Club looked to be developing into a three-horse race.
Garcia got off to the perfect start, putting his approach to the first to inside six feet and rolling it home to extend his lead.
Coetzee made a birdie-birdie start to leapfrog Ian Poulter into third but the Spaniard's playing partners could not apply any pressure with Stenson and Poulter both making three consecutive pars.
The Englishman then missed a short putt on the fourth to drop to ten under, with Hatton making birdies on the first and fifth to move a stroke ahead of him.
Poulter dropped another shot on the sixth but Stenson made a fantastic birdie after finding trouble off the tee, putting an approach to 15-feet and rolling in the putt.
Garcia was in worse trouble on the eighth and hit a provisional after finding the desert but he found his first ball and made par from the sand.
He carried that momentum to the ninth and an excellent approach brought a birdie and restored his four-shot lead.
Cotezee had made a birdie on the sixth and another on the tenth moved him level with Stenson in second place.
Hatton also made another gain to begin his front nine and he was joined at 12 under by Jensen who picked up five shots in six holes from the eighth with the help of an eagle on the 13th.
Magnus A Carlsson also eagled that hole to get to ten under alongside Poulter who birdied the ninth.
Matthew Fitzpatrick, Graeme McDowell, Prom Messawat, Chris Paisley, Brandon Stone and Peter Uihlein were then at nine under.