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Chappell had a rewarding rookie season _ runner-up in the Texas Open, a tie for third in the U.S. Open (which earned him a trip to the Masters net year) and more than $1 million in earnings to place No. 83 on the money list.

Jones was at No. 121 going into the Fall Series. He opened with a 65 in Las Vegas, two off the lead, and missed the cut. Last week at Sea Island, he opened with a 65 and was two off the lead, and missed the cut.

At no other tournament _ Q-school might be an exception _ is there such a disparity in emotions.

Robert Garrigus is the defending champion, on the verge of going back to Q-school until he won Disney for his first PGA Tour title. He knows the feeling of struggling for a card better than most.

“It’s kind of like knowing you might be the CEO of a company, and if you don’t play well, you’re going to be the janitor,” he said.

That’s not the case for Simpson and Donald, who have been cleaning up all year.

Donald is No. 1 in the world, and that gets little argument from his peers. He has been a steady presence on the leaderboard, winning the Match Play Championship $5.8 million on the PGA Tour despite playing in seven fewer tournaments than Simpson.

“It’s clear that for all practical purposes _ and I think most guys would agree _ he is the best player in the world,” Simpson said. “To play both tours and to have the success he’s had winning on both tours … he’s just done an incredible job.”

Simpson has won twice in his last six starts, although he didn’t just show up overnight. Simpson also contended in Tampa earlier in the year, and lost a playoff in New Orleans.

Two strong players. Two strong years.

Donald hasn’t been to Disney since 2003, when he was No. 114 in the world. He wasn’t planning on being here this week until it became his only shot at history. No one has ever won the money title on the European Tour and PGA Tour in the same year. He has a comfortable lead in Europe, and suddenly faces long odds at Disney. Third place _ no matter what Simpson does _ won’t be enough.