-18 M Kaymer (Ger) -13 R McIlroy (NI) -12 D Lynn (Eng) -10 A Noren (Swe), C Schwartzel (SA) -9 G Maybin (NI), G McDowell (NI)
Selected others: -6 R Davies (Wal), P Casey (Eng) -3 P Mickelson (US) -2 C Montgomerie (Sco) +1 Lee Westwood (Eng)
Kaymer has started the year in commanding form
Extended third-round leaderboard
Martin Kaymer is poised to push Tiger Woods out of the top two in the world rankings for the first time since 2004 as he closes on victory in Abu Dhabi.
The German, who only needs a top-seven finish to displace Woods as number two, will take a five-shot lead into the final round after a third-round 66.
Kaymer is on 18 under par as he targets a third Abu Dhabi title in four years.
Rory McIlroy, who had a birdie-eagle finish for a 65, is his closest challenger with David Lynn on 12 under.
The Englishman, who posted a 67, is two shots clear of Swede Alex Noren and South African Charl Schwartzel with Northern Irish duo Graeme McDowell and Gareth Maybin a further shot adrift.
Now I expect myself to win and I'd like to win by as many as possible
But the title is now Kaymer's to lose after last season's European Tour leading money-winner maintained his outstanding form in Abu Dhabi.
Kaymer, who was also runner-up two years ago, is now 74 under par for his last 15 rounds at the venue, and has had only one bogey in his last 79 holes on the course, a staggering sequence that goes back to the 11th hole of his third round last year.
Northern Irishman McIlroy, who hit a marvellous second shot to two feet on the 483-yard 17th and then sank a closing 25-footer, is not expecting Kaymer to collapse on Sunday.
"Martin is a very good leader," McIlroy said. "He does not lose many tournaments from the position he is in.
"If I give myself enough opportunities, as I did today, I am sure there's a low score out there and hopefully I will go close. But Martin is playing very, very well.
"I could have holed a few more, but it's swings and roundabouts and I will take 65 any day."
Kaymer had birdies at the third, fifth, 11th and 15th holes before closing with two more for good measure.
"My driving didn't feel so good, but I managed to hit the greens, my putting feels good and 66 is a fantastic round," said the 26-year-old.
"Now I expect myself to win and I'd like to win by as many as possible. I rarely shoot over 70 on the course [only once in 15 rounds] and that's my goal."
It was a disappointing day for US Open champion McDowell and ex-Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie.
McDowell was in the fiinal group with Kaymer and Schwartzel, but a 71 dropped him to joint sixth and he is now nine strokes adrift.
Montgomerie, without a top-10 finish since June 2008, resumed in a tie for 11th, but slumped to 48th with a 75.
World number one Lee Westwood, who made the halfway cut with nothing to spare on level par, could add only a 73 and is now joint 65th of the 70 remaining players.
Masters champion Phil Mickelson has not been able to make his presence felt either. A 72 kept him at three under, but dropped him from 25th to 39th.