Luke Donald Makes the PGA Tour Season End Interesting

John BurkeContributor IOctober 20, 2011

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - OCTOBER 20:  Webb Simpson (L) and Luke Donald of England wait to play a shot on the 18th hole during the first round of the Children's Miracle Network Classic at the Disney Palm and Magnolia course on October 20, 2011 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

By this point in the PGA Tour season, I normally have slowly started shifting my interest to the NFL and NBA. 

That is because with only one tournament left on the schedule, the only drama left is seeing who will keep their card and who will be relegated to head back to Q-School.

And unless my hometown favorite Tim "Lumpy" Herron is one of the players battling for a card, I don't pay much attention. Luckily, Herron played well enough this year to be in the 90's on the money list, successfully keeping his card for next season. 

But this season is different. This season I actually care about the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. And you should care too!


Well, I am glad you asked.

This year the tournament actually means something to the best player in the world!

Until last week, Luke Donald was number one on the PGA Tour money list and number one on the European Tour Order of Merit (the equivalent to the money list).

But then last week, Webb Simpson, No. 2 on the list at the time, entered the McGladrey Classic in order to pull ahead of Donald. By losing in a playoff, Simpson jumped ahead of Donald by more than $300,000.

So heading into this week, Donald has his work cut out for him. He needs to finish no worse than a two-way tie for second. He also needs help from Webb Simpson, who needs to finish worse than a four-way tie for 21st if Donald is to claim the money title.

Remember, the player who wins the PGA Tour money list receives a five-year exemption on tour. This may not seem like a big deal to Luke Donald, but to Webb Simpson, who struggled to keep his card early in his career, this security is a big bonus.

So before you turn your attention full-time to the NFL, be sure to tune in to the PGA Tour this week. With two guys playing for personal pride and a money title, it is going to be one great tournament.