ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – For the first time since 2003 the season-long money race will come down to the final event.
Following his second round at the McGladrey Classic, Webb Simpson followed Luke Donald onto the commitment list for next week’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, setting up a showdown for the money title.
“There was never really a decision to be made, I have a chance of making history. See you all at Disney next week,' he tweeted Friday.
Simpson, who is tied for the lead at Sea Island following a second-round 67, trails Donald by $68,971 on the money list and appears likely to overtake the Englishman, who is trying to become the first to win both the PGA Tour and European Tour money titles in a single season, following his fast start at the McGladrey.
“I thought Luke would play and I think he’s thinking the same thing about me,” said Simpson, who expected to be paired with Donald for Rounds 1 and 2 at Disney. “If one of us was going to play the other would as well. It’s going to be fun.”
Simpson said he essentially had committed to both the Sea Island and Disney events when he made the decision to play for the money title. “I just didn’t want him to know that,” he smiled.
Donald’s wife, Dianne, is expecting the couple’s second child next month and the world No. 1 indicated at the Tour Championship that he was probably done with the PGA Tour this season, but the chance to win both cash crowns wooed him back for one final push.
“It’s exciting to have this happen,” said Disney tournament director Kevin Weickel. “The Magnolia and Palm (courses) lend themselves to a lot of birdies so it always seems we come down to a shootout and this will just add to that.”
The cash king is given a five-year Tour exemption and would get a boost in the Player of the Year voting, a crowded ballot that includes Donald, Simpson, Keegan Bradley, Nick Watney and Steve Stricker.
Complicating things for Donald is the availability of his caddie John McLaren, who was married last week and will be on his honeymoon during Disney week. A replacement has not been named.
Donald has played Disney twice in his career, missing the cut in 2003 and finishing tied for 36th in ’02, while Simpson finished tied for 40th last year and withdrew after two rounds in ’09.