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July 30 2011

5:20 PM

Saturday set-up: DeJonge vs. Simpson

With overnight co-leaders Brendon de Jonge and Webb Simpson set to tee off in about 30 minutes from now, here’s a look at how they got to the top of the leaderboard and what’s at stake for both:

Since 2010, no one has made as many birdies on TOUR as de Jonge. One reason he’s made so many this week: He’s hit 30 of 36 greens in regulation so far, which ties for second in the field.

De Jonge is coming off back-to-back top-15 finishes in his last two starts and has moved from 64th to 51st in the FedExCup standings in that time span. This week de Jonge could move inside the top 30 to as high as 20th should he go onto win.

Simpson, meanwhile, leads the TOUR this year in rounds in the 60s with just over half -- 38 of 67 -- in the 60s. To put that in perspective, the average on TOUR is 11 per player.

Of course Simpson has been anything but average. He ranks 10th in total driving, 12th in ball-striking and 14th in scrambling. This week, it’s the putter that’s made the difference for Simpson. He led the field in strokes gained-putting in the opening round and converted a total of 126 feet of putts (fourth-most in the opening round).

Simpson didn’t have that same success in Round 2 -- he made just three putts from over 5 feet -- but he’ll tee off today in position to pursue that elusive first win. At ninth in the FedExCup standings, Simpson is the second-highest ranked player in the FEC without a victory this season (behind Matt Kuchar). However, no player has more top-25 finishes on TOUR season than Simpson. In his 17 starts, he’s accumulated 13 total top-25 finishes. (most on TOUR). Simpson could move as high as second in the FedExCup should he go onto win this week.

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