(CNN) -- Ian Poulter will take a two-stroke lead going into the final round of the Dubai World Championship after posting a three-under par 69 on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.
The Englishman, who won last weekend at the UBS Hong Kong Open, edged ahead of halfway co-leader Ross Fisher, who is now tied for second place after a third round 71.
Fisher is joined on 10-under par by Italy's Francesco Molinari -- who moved up five places with a third round 68 -- and Thongchai Jaidee from Thailand who posted a second successive round of 69.
Last year's Race to Dubai winner, Lee Westwood will start the final round in seventh place after a one-under par 71.
While the Englishman looks certain now to lose his money-list crown to Germany's Martin Kaymer he will, barring a miracle, retain his status as world number one.
The only threat to Westwood's position as the world's best golfer -- which he took over from Tiger Woods at the start of November -- was if Kaymer won in Dubai.
That looks unlikely after a disappointing round of 73 left the German in a tie for 11th place with England's Luke Donald.
Kaymer's nearest rival in this year's money-list race, Graeme McDowell, is currently tied for 30th place, making it almost impossible for the Northern Irishman to overhaul the German's lead.
"Barring the impossible Europe's number one is not a reality for me anymore. Martin is definitely going to do it unless I shoot 55, which unless one of you boys [a handful of reporters] putts for me isn't going to happen," McDowell said, the UK's Press Association reported.
After a flawless second round display Poulter bagged a further five birdies on day three, but two dropped shots -- at the fifth and tenth holes -- denied him a bigger lead over his rivals.
But the Ryder Cup star says he is finishing the season in the form he started it, which saw him win the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play title at Tucson, Arizona in February.
"My game is as good as it's been -- as good as Tucson -- and I am in the driving seat. The pins were tucked and it was a game of patience, but the two silly bogeys came on holes I feel I should have taken advantage of."