Donald loses ground to Simpson in money list duel
Lake Buena Vista: World number one Luke Donald lost ground in his battle with Webb Simpson for the PGA Tour money list title as the Briton carded a one-under-par 71 in Friday`s second round of the Disney Classic at Lake Buena Vista in Florida.
Donald needs to finish no worse than in a two-way tie for second at this week`s season-ending event to eclipse American Simpson at the top but he will go into Saturday`s third round five shots off the pace in a tie for 14th.
"It wasn`t very good," Donald told reporters after mixing three birdies with two bogeys while fighting a sinus infection. "I struggled in kind of all parts of my game unfortunately.
"My energy level, my focus wasn`t very good. I struggled off the tee. Hopefully (I`ll) get a good night`s rest and feel a bit more recharged tomorrow. I`m going to need to go low on the weekend."
While money list leader Simpson returned a 69 to end the day level with Donald at seven-under 137, American Justin Leonard, South Korean Bio Kim and Swede Henrik Stenson took joint control.
Leonard fired a best-of-the-day 63 on the Palm course, one of two layouts hosting the event, 21-year-old PGA Tour rookie Kim carded a 65 and Stenson a 64 as the trio set the pace at 12-under 132.
Australian left-hander Nick O`Hern was fourth at 10-under after shooting a 66, also on the Palm layout.
On Saturday, for a third day in a row, Donald and Simpson will play together in what has been dubbed the `Duel at Disney`.
"It`s great for the sponsor, television and all that goes with it," said Donald, who trailed Simpson by $363,029 in the money list coming into this week.
"But to be honest, I`ve got to beat everyone, not just Webb. I`ve got to play better than I did today."
For former British Open champion Leonard, this week has been a rare moment of good form in an otherwise forgettable season.
"It hasn`t been a good year," said the 39-year-old who has not won since the 2008 St Jude Championship and languishes 144th in the money list.
"I`m looking forward to the year being over but it`s nice to have a chance this week to finish it off on a good note. I had a fun, easy day today."
Kim, the youngest player on this year`s PGA Tour, was delighted after a round highlighted by only 22 putts on the more difficult Magnolia layout.
"I putted great and 20, 30-footers went in the last two holes too," he said with a broad grin. "I hit the ball better than (I`ve done in the) last couple of months so that`s always good."
Kim celebrated his 21st birthday in South Korea in August when he also had surgery to correct an irregular heartbeat.
"I was a little bit scared but this is the second time getting the surgery," he said after recording eight birdies and a lone bogey. "I (also) had it when I was 11.
"I practised before I took the surgery and then had about a week when I didn`t touch a club. After that it was totally fine. The doctor said I could play golf."
The cut fell at three-under 141 with British world number 17 Justin Rose, defending champion Robert Garrigus and former major winners Davis Love III, David Duval and Shaun Micheel among those missing out.