German Martin Kaymer is edging closer to the European Tour money list crown - and possibly the world number one spot as well.
Kaymer went head-to-head with Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell, his only remaining challenger in the Order of Merit race, in the first round of the Dubai World Championship.
Already holding a lead of nearly £250,000, Kaymer sank a 192-yard seven-iron for an eagle two at the third and after 11 holes was in third place on five under par.
That was two behind Swede Robert Karlsson - Europe's number one two seasons ago - but six clear of McDowell, who needs a top three finish to have any chance.
The Northern Irishman almost holed-in-one at the short sixth - as South African Charl Schwartzel had done three groups before him - but three-putted the ninth and 11th for bogeys.
Kaymer and McDowell are both trying for an incredible £1.7million jackpot on Sunday - almost £777,000 from the tournament itself and then a £932,024 bonus for topping the money list.
Lee Westwood, the man who did the double on the same Earth course last year, has interest in what Kaymer was doing as well.
With a top two finish the US PGA champion could take over as world number one, but Westwood was happy enough with his early progress and with six to play stood three under.
Karlsson holed a 114-yard pitch for an eagle three at the long 14th and with birdies at the 16th and 17th required a four on the 620-yard last to break Westwood's course record from the closing round 12 months ago. However, he drove poorly and instead took six to slip back to seven under.
Korean teenager Noh Seung-yul was one behind after a 66 and Thai Thongchai Jaidee occupied fourth spot on four under.