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Alan McLean in the hunt in China; Barlya on Nationwide

Though the leaderboard may list Alan McLean as hailing from Scotland, the long hitter actually lives in London, Ont., and has been a Canadian resident since the late 1990s.

That said, McLean, who I got to know last year while playing a round at Thunder Bay’s Whitewater Golf Club, is having a great week at the HSBC Champions event in China. After a strong opening round of 1-under par 71, McLean made a big move yesterday, shooting 31 in his first nine holes and finishing tied for 10th place at 5-under. That puts him alongside Colin Montgomerie and Luke Donald. Not bad, especially for a player who could really use a good pay cheque as he heads to the second stage of Q-School in Dallas. Oh, and some guy named Tiger shot 64 to fly into second place. So much for that five week layoff hurting his play.

The strangest story in the tournament came in the first round where Marc Warren of Scotland and playing partner Shane Dyson both had their golf balls stolen after hitting their drives up the fairway. But since no one actually saw someone take the balls, they had to declare them lost and rehit off the tee. Sounds like there is some crack security over in China for this one.

You can see the HSBC results here.

Vernon, BC’s Chris Baryla started the Nationwide Tour’s Tour Championship in fine form, and is tied for 7th after the first round. Baryla, who has made slightly more than US$100,000 this year on the Nationwide, could likely secure his tour card with a win at the Nationwide.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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