Donald holds title edge over Simpson at the Disney

(Reuters) – World number one Luke Donald seized an  early advantage in his title duel with Webb Simpson by charging  into a seven-way tie for the lead in yesterday’s opening round  of the Disney Classic at Lake Buena Vista in Florida.  

Briton Donald coped well with breezy conditions as he fired  a flawless six-under-par 66 on the Palm course, one of two  layouts hosting the final PGA Tour event of the season. 
 
That lifted him to the top of the leaderboard, alongside  Americans James Driscoll, Gary Woodland, Scott Stallings and  Derek Lamely, India’s Arjun Atwal and Australian Nathan Green.  

Steven Bowditch of Australia carded a seven-birdie 68 on  the more difficult Magnolia layout to lie one stroke off the  pace with six other players.  

American Simpson, who is vying with Donald for the PGA  Tour’s money list title and possibly also player of the year  honours, opened with a bogey-free 68 on the Palm course. 
 
With their head-to-head battle the biggest storyline of the  week, the two have been paired together by organisers for the  first two rounds and they each relished the opening day.

“We get along fine and we had a little light-hearted banter  going today,” a smiling Donald told reporters after recording  four birdies on his outward nine and two more after the turn.  

“He asked when I was having my off-season and I said,  ‘Well, it was going to be this week. Thanks for playing the  last two weeks’.”

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