China series still waiting for a breakout star

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American Max McGreevy, formerly on the Tour, has been the most consistent player so far on the PGA Tour Series-China, with three top-five finishes, a tie for 12th and a tie for 19th.

The PGA Tour Series-China has held five tournaments so far in 2019, with the sixth event - the Nantong Championship at Nantong Yangtze River Golf Club - teeing off on Thursday.

As the season creeps toward the halfway mark, trends are typically easy to spot. If there is one theme that stands out thus far, it's the absence of a dominant performer.

Here's the lowdown:

No player has won more than once, and while there have been two American winners, champions have also come from Japan and Canada - with Luke Kwon's victory last week in Qinhuangdao a hybrid. Kwon, born in South Korea and educated in the US, lives in New Zealand.

There has been at least one multi-tournament winner every year since the PGA Tour Series-China debuted in 2014.

David Kocher of the US leads the order of merit, but has only two top-10 finishes on his resume. Of the players with three top-10s, only compatriot Trevor Sluman has a victory.

Despite his lack of a triumph, it's easy to make the case that American Max McGreevy, the former Tour veteran who is playing his first year in China, has been not only the most consistent player but also the best.

McGreevy has three top-5 finishes, a tie for 12th and a tie for 19th - the latter his worst showing of the year (at the Haikou Championship). He is on a streak of eight consecutive sub-par rounds, with 16 of his 19 rounds this season below par.

Sluman is equally hot. Until his missed cut last week in Qinhuangdao, he had never not played on the weekend in his series career.

This week, as the PGA Tour Series-China visits Nantong for the first time, Kocher will attempt to hang on to his 42,755 yuan ($6,150) lead over Sluman, while McGreevy, fifth on the order of merit, will be seeking his first victory.

Any number of others will be looking to make their presence felt - including perhaps the series' hottest player, Canada's Myles Creighton. He followed his first top-10 of the year - a tie for ninth at the Beijing Championship - with a runner-up showing last week at the Qinhuangdao Championship.

Another one to watch is Japan's Yuwa Kosaihira. Although he has Tour status, Kosaihira elected to play another season in China. He's appeared in four tournaments this year, making the cut in all four, with a tie for fifth and a playoff loss in the Haikou Championship on his record. He has yet to miss a cut in his series career, going 18 for 18.

Noticeably absent from the winner's circle this year have been players from China.

Liu Yanwei came the closest in the season-opening Chongqing Championship, where he lost to Japan's Taihei Sato in a playoff.

Liu currently sits 10th on the order of merit but has only played two tournaments. Four other players from China - Zhang Huilin (19th), Zhang Jin (26th), Jin Cheng (28th) and Huang Wenyi (30th) are all inside the top 30 on the money list.

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