Date: November 10, 2011
Author: Steve Orme at the Lakes, Sportal

Lyle maintains slender lead

Victorian Jarrod Lyle continues to lead the Emirates Australian Open by a shot over American powerhouse Dustin Johnson late on day one at The Lakes. The 30-year-old ignored the blustery winds and light rain that welcomed the morning groups to card a sizzling seven-under par 65 on Thursday. Adam Scott is the hottest player currently on the course at four under par through 13 holes after kick-starting his round with a rare albatross at the par-five 8th. The Queenslander began with a birdie but surrendered two early bogeys before producing the shot of the tournament, a majestic six-iron from 199m which bounced short of the pin and never looked like missing en route to the bottom of the cup. Nick O&aposHern is also a four under after 13 holes, one clear of former world No.1 Tiger Woods who has played 12 holes. Woods opened with seven straight pars before rattling off three birdies in four holes to climb into a share of 15th position. Jason Day, playing alongside Woods for the first time, is a further shot back through 12 holes after a costly bogey at the par-five 11th, while American Presidents Cup team member Nick Watney is also minus two through 10 holes. Lyle burst out of the blocks with a birdie at the 1st to make the turn at three under before producing two birdies and an eagle at the par-five 14th to hold the clubhouse lead. Johnson, the highest ranked player in the field, opened his round with a bogey at the par-four 10th but bounced back with five consecutive birdies beginning at the par four 12th to get back in the red. United States Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples is a shot further back in an four-way tie for third after firing a five-under 67. Australians Greg Chalmers, James Nitties and Steve Jones also signed for 67s, while big-hitting American Bubba Watson is one of seven players at four under after a solid 68. Defending champion Geoff Ogilvy mixed five birdies with three bogeys to post an opening two-under 70. Five-time Open winner Greg Norman carded a 71 to share 39th spot with 18 other golfers. Bill Hass and veteran Peter Senior both signed for level-par rounds of 72, while former champions Aaron Baddeley (73) and Stuart Appleby (75) both need good rounds on Friday to make the cut.