Luke Donald and Webb Simpson today set up the prospect of a riveting end to the PGA Tour money list race in Florida this weekend.
Donald, England’s world number one who has to finish in the top two at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic to have a chance, opened with a six under par 66 to share the early lead.
But playing partner Simpson was only two behind – and neither had a bogey all day on the Palm Course at the Disney World resort.
If Donald wins the American would have to be runner-up on his own to claim the crown, while if Donald is solo second or in a two-way tie, Simpson would miss out if he is lower than eighth or 21st respectively.
After making a late decision to play – as did Simpson – Donald went to the turn in 32 with birdies on the 11th, 12th, 14th and 17th.
He then picked up further shots at the first and third and with six closing pars was part of a seven-way tie with Americans Gary Woodland, James Driscoll and Scott Stallings, Australians Nathan Green and Steven Bowditch and also Indian Arjun Atwal.
Simpson matched Donald’s birdies at the 11th and 14th, the two par fives on the back nine, and moved closer into contention on the fifth and seventh.
It was a disappointing day for the other English players in the field. Brian Davis shot 74 and Justin Rose 75 after three bogeys in his last four holes.
Donald said: ``For most of the round I was pretty solid. A couple of loose shots at the end, but it wasn't that easy out there - I think the wind was strong enough to make it a little bit tricky with club selection.
“The fairways are soft and you’re not going to get much roll, so it’s playing as long as it could be.
“Webb asked when I was having my off-season. I said it was going to be this week! There was some light-hearted banter out there, but that’s fine.
“Not only do I have to beat Webb, I have to beat the rest of the field – I have to keep my eye on everyone.
“But that’s always the goal. Every time I tee it up I’m trying to win the event.”