France's Julien Guerrier and Matthieu Pavon both closed with bogey-free 5-under 67 for a share of the lead at the DP World Tour Championship.
"For sure, I had a great, solid year, many top tens but I was missing something to get my first victory and I finally got it in Madrid," said Pavon about his victory at the acciona Open de España.
"It's more confirmation of what we achieve with my team so far and it was nice to have it done a few weeks ago and put me in a good way mentally to play these last two tournaments of the year."
Guerrier is playin at the season-ending event for the first time courtesy of three top-10 results.
"I just tried to be really disciplined because I don't really know this course. My caddie has more experience on this course than me, so I just listen to him. I try to play in the zone and I did it correctly.
"It's a really tough course. It's very demanding from the tee because if you are in the rough, it's really difficult to hit the greens and it's not too firm, the greens, actually. So it's more friendly."
Denmark's Nicolai Højgaard bogeyed the par-3 4th but fired six birdies for his share of the lead.
"I played really well today," said Højgaard. "Drove it well from hole number one to 18, even though it was a little bit of a circus on 18, felt really solid. I got on a run. You know there's a few chances out there, so it's just about keep hitting good shots and stay present and I feel I did a good job today."
Sweden's Jens Dantorp, France's Antoine Rozner and Poland's Adrian Meronk share fourth palce at 4-under.