Rose was a distant 10th on the money list until earning 2.3 million points with back-to-back wins in China and Turkey and a third straight victory in Dubai would see him crowned European No.1 for a second time.
Justin Rose can overhaul current European No. 1 Tommy Fleetwood and win the Race to Dubai if he holds on to top spot in the DP World.
Starting the day two strokes off the lead, he carded seven birdies in a bogey-free round on Saturday to move to 15-under for the tournament, one clear of Jon Rahm and Dylan Frittelli.
At 10 under after two rounds on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estate, Fitzpatrick was edging English compatriot Tyrrell Hatton, whom he beat by one shot to win the title past year. "But above all, whether I win it or not, or whether Justin wins it, one of us will have deserved it".
"It's a massive thing, and it's the biggest thing I've ever tried to achieve".
"Tommy's had the pressure of leading all year and I played with a lot of freedom because I had nothing to lose".
"So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai", Fleetwood said. It's been an absolute pleasure and privilege trying to compete for a Race to Dubai. This has been all year and it's come down to the final event.
"A year-and-a-half ago, I was absolutely nowhere in the game and I was a bit lost". That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make.
That was obvious in Round 3 when he birdied eight of his last 11 holes for his 65.
That late run meant the Offaly man signed for a two-under-par 70, five shots off the lead. The week could have gone not quite as how you wanted it, not being in contention or anything.
"Then it just kick-started at eight, I hit a great shot in and started holing a few putts".
"Keeping it interesting. But like I said all week, I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard".
"It was a really frustrating day", the Greystones star told Meridian Media after his putting deserted him and he compiled a round featuring two eagle threes, just two birdies and four bogeys.
"I made bad decisions, hit lazy shots and I think I was really exhausted out there and need to go back and have a rest and get out there tomorrow".
"He's doing everything he has to and I'm doing the same, it's perfectly set up". "It's incredible from where we were on Thursday night to stand here and actually be in the tournament".