Luke Donald took the first round against Webb Simpson in Florida last night as they go head to head for the PGA Tour money list title.
England's world No 1 has to finish no worse than second to have a chance and a 66 put him in strong contention in the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic at the Disney World resort.
Simpson, £230,000 in front after his runner-up finish last weekend, shot a 68 to set up an enthralling tussle between the playing partners. Said Donald: "For most of the round I was pretty solid. A couple of loose shots at the end, but it wasn't that easy out there – I think the wind was strong enough to make it a little bit tricky with club selection."
Donald, whose wife is due next month to give birth to their second child, only entered at the last minute as he focused on making history as the first Briton to win the American order of merit. "Webb asked when I was having my off-season. I said it was going to be this week!" said Donald, who is in line to win the European money list.
"There was some light-hearted banter out there, but that's fine. Not only do I have to beat Webb, I have to beat the rest of the field – I have to keep my eye on everyone. But that's always the goal. Every time I tee it up I'm trying to win the event."
Meanwhile, Tom Lewis, the English 20-year-old who won in Portugal last week in his third event as a professional, recovered from a poor start to post a level-par 71 in the Castello Masters in Valencia. Lewis is seven behind the leader, his countryman Ross McGowan.