Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Up and down money list, pressure is high this weekend

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Kevin Chappell was on the Magnolia Course practice range at Disney, his only concern getting in nine holes of practice under gathering clouds and trying to remember which golf cart was his.

It's a relaxing week at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, but not for everyone. So when Chappell saw a familiar face behind him, he asked, "Are you paying attention to the top or the bottom?"

For a town geared toward amusement, stress is high across from the Magic Kingdom.

At the top are Webb Simpson and Luke Donald, who are 1-2 on the PGA Tour money list, both believing that to win the money title would make them heavy favorites for player of the year.

At the bottom are players struggling to finish in the top 125 to keep full-time jobs for next year. Play in the final tournament of the year begins today (2 p.m., Golf Channel).

"I'm here to win the money title, and I'm probably going to need to win to do that," said Donald, who is $363,029 behind Simpson. "So it feels a little bit like the FedEx Cup and the Tour Championship. Third place isn't going to get it done."

Donald finished in a three-way tie for third at the Tour Championship, thus wound up third in the FedEx Cup. But a final birdie at East Lake gave him a small lead on the money list — until Simpson played Sea Island last week, lost in a playoff and picked up $432,000 to move well ahead.

Simpson feels as though he has nothing to lose. A year ago, he was No. 207 in the world and had just secured his PGA Tour card. Now he is golf's only $6 million man, a two-time winner who is No. 12 in the world.

"Talking to my wife (Tuesday), we just said, 'If we don't win the money title or player of the year, in no way will we be disappointed,' " Simpson said. "We obviously want to do those things, but this year has been a success all throughout. Whatever happens, we're going to be happy."

The stress is far greater toward the bottom.

Golf officials, perhaps mischievously, put Bobby Gates and James Driscoll — Nos. 124 and 125 on the money list — in the same group.

"I think they have kind of a twisted irony in them," Gates said. "It's tough, but it's our jobs, and we're competing against each other."

2012 SCHEDULE: The PGA Tour will open with a Monday finish in Hawaii and feature some minor movement for 2012.

Next year's schedule has 45 tournaments that count toward the money list. It opens with the Tournament of Champions, Jan. 6-9 at Kapalua, which ends on a Monday so that the final round is held before the BCS Championship game kicks off.

Because it is a Ryder Cup year, FedEx Cup playoff events will be held in three consecutive weeks.

The Transitions Championship at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor will be March 15-18.

PGA GRAND SLAM: Keegan Bradley held off Charl Schwartzel's charge to win in Southampton, Bermuda. Bradley's par-71 left him 4 under for the tournament and a shot ahead of Schwartzel, who finished with a course-record-tying 65.

Up and down money list, pressure is high this weekend 10/19/11 [Last modified: Thursday, October 20, 2011 6:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. For starters: Ramus to DL, Peterson back, no further moves


    We were expecting a flurry of roster moves this afternoon and we got one. OF Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.

    Colby Ramus is on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to June 19 with left hip tendinitis.
  2. Jameis Winston stats: How the Bucs QB performed under pressure


    Every quarterback's performance declines when he faces pressure from the defense.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston faced pressure on more than 30 percent of his pass plays last season. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. Could Lightning deal for a defenseman today?


    Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has been trying to further bolster his blueline, and he may have a chance to acquire one by tonight's first round of the NHL Draft.

    The Lightning is reportedly in on Travis Hamonic (Islanders), though New York is rumored to be asking for two-first round picks.
  4. SI ranks Quinton Flowers on top 100, above Deondre Francois


    Sports Illustrated's ongoing countdown of the top 100 players in college football includes some high praise for USF quarterback Quinton Flowers.

  5. Kentucky recruit, former Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox among top prospects for 2018 NBA Draft


    Less than 24 hours after the NBA Draft, analysts have already begun looking ahead to 2018.

    Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox finishes a layup during the McDonald's All-American game in March at the United Center in Chicago. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]