Rory McIlroy completed a personal-best round at the DP World Tour Championship on Saturday to move to the brink of Race to Dubai glory - and then claimed his score of 65 could have been much lower.
McIlroy mixed eight birdies with a solitary bogey at Jumeirah Golf Estates to trail tournament leader Andy Sullivan by a single stroke at 15 under heading into the final day.
The excellent display saw him pull four shots clear of Danny Willett, who must finish ahead of McIlroy to deny the Northern Irishman another Race to Dubai title.
Yet McIlroy said: "Everything was just firing and that's why I'm walking off the golf course a little bit disappointed because that 65 could have easily been a 62 or a 61.
"I played fantastically well. I could have been five under through five easily. I hit the ball beautifully."
The four-time major winner, who missed a short birdie putt on the last, was understandably able to take plenty of positives, too.
"It would have been nice to birdie at least one of the final three holes, but I'm in a great position going into tomorrow [Sunday] in the final group," he acknowledged.
"All I need to do is go out there and try to play the same way as I did today and things should be okay.
"I feel like it's a score that was sort of bubbling up a little bit. The two 68s I shot the first two days were good, but I knew there was more out there for me.
"Today was a reflection of how well I have been hitting it and I managed to hole a few more putts and make a few more birdies."
McIlroy won this event in 2012, has two Race to Dubai crowns to his name and triumphed at the Dubai Desert Classic for a second time earlier this year.
"I think me and Dubai in general - we seem to get on very well," he added.
"My first professional win was here, I've won the Dubai Desert Classic this year and I really wanted to come here this week and try and do the double in Dubai - and I've got a chance to do that, so that's great."