Though the Northern Irishman has the top ranking locked up, a victory on Sunday would affirm his claim as the world’s best golfer heading into 2013.
‘‘It’s very important no matter what happens tomorrow,’’ McIlroy said. ‘‘I guess I'm No. 1 going into next year. But it will be nice to put an exclamation mark on, if you want.’’
For Donald, a victory would serve as a revenge of sorts. McIlroy took the No. 1 ranking from him earlier this year and then went out and matched the Englishman’s feat of winning both tour money titles in 2011. The two haven’t played in a final round together since 2007 and that was when Donald was ranked 17th and McIlroy 233rd.
‘‘In terms of my own confidence, it would be a great way to finish off the year,’’ Donald said. ‘‘Any time you’re playing against the best player in the world, if you can go head-to-head and come out on top, yeah you’re going to come away feeling good about things.’’