Donald and McIlroy both birdied the 18th to set up a season-ending duel between No. 1 and No. 2 — something not seen since last year when Donald won the BMW PGA Championship in a playoff with Lee Westwood to replace him at the top.
Though the Northern Irishman has the top ranking locked up, a victory on Sunday would affirm his claim as the world's best golfer heading into 2013.
"It's very important no matter what happens tomorrow," McIlroy said. "I guess I'm No. 1 going into next year. But it will be nice to put an exclamation mark on, if you want."
For Donald, a victory would serve as a revenge of sorts. McIlroy took the No. 1 ranking from him earlier this year and then went out and matched the Englishman's feat of winning both tour money titles in 2011. The two haven't played in a final round together since 2007 and that was when Donald was ranked 17th and McIlroy 233rd.
"In terms of my own confidence, it would be a great way to finish off the year," Donald said. "Any time you're playing against the best player in the world, if you can go head-to-head and come out on top, yeah you're going to come away feeling good about things."
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