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McIlroy, Donald tied for Dubai lead after 54 holes


The two top-ranked players in the world, Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald, share the lead entering the final round of the DP World Tour Championship as the European Tour season appears ready to go out in style.

Having ascended to No. 2 in the world with a win last week in Japan, Donald fired a 6-under 66 Saturday and sits at 17-under 199 after 54 holes. The Englishman did not record a bogey during his third round, extending his bogey-free streak at Jumeirah Golf Estates to 100 holes. The last time Donald dropped a shot in this event was on the eighth hole of the second round – last year.

'That's pretty good,' Donald spoke of the streak to reporters after the round. 'I guess that's my style - I don't make too many mistakes.'

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Not to be outdone, Rory McIlroy matched Donald's 66 on Saturday and seeks to end his 2012 campaign with a final affirmation of his place as the top-ranked player in the world. After a bogey on the opening hole, the Ulsterman closed with a back-nine 31 Saturday, playing holes 11-14 in 4 under.

'I think everyone is looking forward to Number One and Number Two duel tomorrow, and that's the way it panned out,' noted McIlroy after the round. 'I know I'm excited.'

A pair of major champions will begin the final round three shots off the pace, as countrymen Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel share third at 14-under 202. Two more South Africans will start Sunday inside the top 10, as Branden Grace and George Coetzee are currently tied for fifth and tied for seventh, respectively.

After holding a share of the lead after 36 holes, Marc Warren struggled to an even-par 72 Saturday. The Scot failed to make a birdie on the outward nine, and as a result will begin Sunday in a tie for seventh, six shots behind the co-leaders.

Like Warren, Sergio Garcia struggled during Saturday's third round. After moving into contention with a 64 on Saturday, Garcia closed with back-to-back double bogeys for a 1-over 73. The Spaniard now begins the final round tied for 31st at 6-under 210.

Jeev Milka Singh fired the round of the day Saturday, carding nine birdies en route to an 8-under 64. The stellar round moved Singh into a tie for 25th, 10 shots off the pace.