Webb Simpson could force Luke Donald to play more golf

Jonathan Wall

Don't tell Webb Simpson that the tour's season-ending money list isn't a big deal. For a guy who was struggling to keep his card last year, you'd think he'd be content with his runner-up finish in the FedEx Cup and two wins this season.

With only two events left on the tour's schedule, the Fall Series is usually a time where golf's top players take some time off before the Presidents Cup, and golfers on the bubble grind it out to get inside the top 125 on the money list.

That's why it seems odd that Simpson's in the field this week at McGladrey Classic in Sea Island, Ga. For the North Carolina native, the event is a relative home game, so it makes sense to show up and pocket some extra cash before the end of the year.

But Simpson seems to be in the field for one reason: to make Luke Donald sweat. Sitting just $68,971 behind Donald on the PGA Tour money list, Simpson knows a top-15 finish or better this week would see him leapfrog the Englishman with just one event remaining on the schedule.

Before Simpson's strong finish to the year, it seemed like Donald was a near lock to capture the PGA Tour and European Tour money lists in the same season -- a feat that had never been done before.

Now it looks like Simpson could throw a wrench into those plans. Assuming he shows up this week and overtakes Donald, we could see the current No. 1 make a tough call. His wife is pregnant at the moment with their second child and he's played a whirlwind schedule all season, going back and forth between the United States and Europe to play. Simply put, he's tired and probably wants a break.

But if Simpson makes the pass, do you grab the sticks and play one more event for the chance to win the money title? The bigger question at that point has to be if Donald plays Disney -- he was quoted as saying he'd think about it if Webb played the McGladrey -- will Simpson play back-to-back weeks?

As crazy as that sounds, I think it's great that these two guys are playing a chess match at the end of the season. We tend to discount the Fall Series as the silly season, but with Donald and Simpson going all out for the money title, we may have another reason to keep an eye on the final two events of the year.