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Howell grabs top spot as Tiger moves into fifth

The inaugural FedEx Cup had its first of what is sure to be many lead changes on Sunday when Charles Howell III took over the top spot in the season-long competition for a record $10 million bonus.

Howell's second-place finish at the Buick Invitational - his second runner-up spot in the last three weeks - vaulted him past Vijay Singh. Howell now has 4,951 FedEx Cup points, which is 230 more than Singh, who won the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship.

Singh tied for 39th on Sunday while Bob Hope Chrysler Classic champ Charley Hoffman held down third in the FedEx Cup standings with his share of 31st. Paul Goydos, winner of the Sony Open in Hawaii, took the week off and slipped from second to fourth.

Howell started the week in seventh place but took the big leap when the Oklahoma State product collected 2,700 points for finishing solo second to Tiger Woods. He tied for second in his 2007 debut at the Sony Open in Hawaii, as well.

Interestingly, Howell also ranked seventh on the money list entering the Buick Invitational. The money he won at Torrey Pines, though, wasn't enough to propel Howell to first on that list - he still trails Singh by $118,195.

Howell wasn't the only man to make a big move in the FedEx Cup, though.

Of course, there was that Woods fellow, the game's No. 1 player who now stands fifth in the FedEx Cup standings after grabbing the 4,500 points that go to the winner in his season's debut.

There were some new faces on the horizon, as well.

Two events into his rookie season, Brandt Snedeker was tied for 115th in the FedExCup standings. His strong performance at Torrey Pines earned him 1,700 FedEx Cup points to move to 13th.

Big-hitting Bubba Watson, who tied for fourth with Andrew Buckle and Mark Calcavecchia, jumped from 105th to No. 23 thanks to the 1,033 points he received. Calcavecchia, meanwhile, moved from 31st to 15th while Buckle, who started the week 47th, is No. 16.

Ties for ninth got Ian Poulter and Rich Beem into double digits, too. Beem moved from 110th to 40th while Poulter is three points behind at No. 41 after starting the week at 115th.

January 29, 2007


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