Money match: Donald, Simpson together at Disney


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The money title battle between Webb Simpson and Luke Donald gets an extra boost of the spotlight with the two paired together in the first two rounds of the season-ending Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Disney World.

Simpson and Donald are running Nos. 1-2 on the money list, with Simpson $363,029 ahead. The PGA Tour took advantage of the intrigue in arranging the pairing with the duo going off together at 8:20 a.m. ET Thursday on the Palm Course and 12:20 p.m. Friday on the Magnolia Course.

Donald must win or finish no worse than a tie for second to overtake Simpson in official earnings. If Donald claims the $846,000 first-place check, Simpson can still take the money title by finishing solo second.

If Donald finishes solo second, he’ll force Simpson to finish solo eighth or better to claim the money title.

And if Donald finishes in a two-way tie for second, Simpson can still claim the title with money earned in a two-way tie for 22nd or four-way tie for 21st.

Donald’s challenge is steep. No player has come from behind to take the money title in the final event of the season since 1996, when Tom Lehman won the Tour Championship to overtake Phil Mickelson.

There are also PGA Tour Player of the Year implications hanging in the balance this week with Simpson and Donald both in the running for that honor, which is decided by a vote of players.