ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Webb Simpson signed up for the McGladrey Classic because it gave him a shot at winning the PGA Tour money title. He played Thursday as though he was intent on doing just that.
Simpson matched his best score of the year in the opening round at Sea Island, making eight birdies for 7-under 63, which gave him a share of the lead with rookie Zack Miller.
"There's no way I can play this golf tournament without thinking about the money title," Simpson said. "I'm thinking about it every day. But I'm not over every shot thinking, 'This is for the money title.' It's more that I'm just trying my best to get focused on winning the golf tournament."
Simpson has won twice in his past five tournaments, leaving him $68,971 behind Luke Donald on the money list with two tournaments remaining. Donald isn't playing this week, and he has until 5 p.m. today to decide whether to play at Lake Buena Vista next week in the final event of the season.
Simpson needs to finish at least in 15th place alone in this tournament to surpass Donald.
Martin Piller was tied for the lead until a bogey on the last hole put him in a large group at 64.
lpga: Brittany Lang and Na Yeon Choi shot 5-under 66 to share the first-round lead with two others in the LPGA Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur. Paige Mackenzie and Azahara Munoz were a stroke back. Michelle Wie had 68. Tampa resident Kristy McPherson was at 2-over 73, Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse at 3 over and Seminole's Brittany Lincicome at 4 over.