Putting it all in perspective

RYAN PYETTE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

MARKHAM -- Alan McLean wouldn't groan about a 12-foot birdie putt that cruelly lipped out on his second-to-last hole.

The 36-year-old Londoner couldn't bring himself to agonize over an 18-foot birdie try that steered a smidgen to the right on his final green.

Those missed opportunities in an opening even-par 71 were rendered insignificant after McLean saw a course marshal collapse to his right during his round.

McLean and playing partners Jarrod Lyle and Bryce Molder remained close to the scene as first aid personnel attempted to revive the ailing man, who was rushed to hospital.

The marshal's status was not updated.

"It's sobering and it really puts golf in perspective,"

"We're all out there worried about a six-foot putt and you're watching them resuscitating a guy who is fighting for his life," McLean said.

Normally, giving back two birdies with a pair of bogeys on the front nine of a prime scoring day would be a source for aggravation -- especially for the transplanted South African hungry to make the cut today, play on the weekend in a PGA Tour event and earn a decent pay cheque.

But after what he saw, he was counting his blessings rather than letting regret dominate the day.

"I thought the round was reflective. I definitely felt like I left a few shots out there. Some putts were close but that's golf and I've been swinging well for a while, so the round is nothing to be too discouraged about."

McLean expects he'll have to shoot the lights out today to make the cut.

"Hell, yes," he said. "I'm thinking about needing something like a 68. Obviously, you don't want weather (thunderstorms are in the forecast), but I'm not going to be perturbed by it. If it happens, you just . . . go as best you can."

Golfers on the bubble know they're in trouble if they don't go on a birdie binge because so many produced impressive rounds yesterday.

If this week's routine holds true, McLean is in good shape for a breakout performance. On Wednesday, he fired a three-under 69 to tie for third in the two-round Great Lakes Tour Platinum Series event at FireRock in Komoka.

McLean, who plays out of RiverBend, chose to stay close to home rather than practice at Angus Glen -- an odd move during Canadian Open week, but one he wasn't penalized for yesterday.

"The course was the same as I played (on the weekend)."

McLean equalled the first round by Bright's Grove native Mike Weir. McLean teed off almost two hours after the 2003 Masters champion.


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