Date: November 14, 2013

Lyle’s return headlines round 1 at Talisker Masters – Royal Melbourne

In a highly emotional day one at Royal Melbourne of the 2013 Talisker Australian Masters, Victorian Jarrod Lyle made his comeback to professional golf after being out of the game for nearly two years due to a battle with cancer, shooting an opening round one-over 72 to trail overall leader Nick Cullen who posted a six-under 65, two shots clear of reigning champion Adam Scott.

Lyle couldn’t hold back the tears on the first tee as he embarked on a feat that just 12 months ago he thought may not have been possible. Enduring a rollercoaster ride over the the past 20 months with his illness, Lyle’s return to golf had looked doubtful but today, his return to the game he loves was a great reward for the resiliency the man has shown.

With a strong gallery of supporters following him for 18 holes, Lyle made birdie on the par 5 second hole but would make a string of three bogeys in a row on holes 7-9. Another bogey on 12 and Lyle was three-over with six left. Not wanting the round to get away from him, birdies on 14 and 15 brought his score back to one-over where it would remain at the end of the round to complete an inspirational comeback that had the sporting world chirping.

Cullen played superbly, making six birdies and an eagle on the 11th with bogeys on the 8th and 18th to finish with a 65. Right behind Cullen is reigning champion and world no.2 Adam Scott who started his round with four consecutive birdies. Scott finished at four-under with just one bogey on the 8th which he pickced back up on the par 4 13th. Also at four-under and tied for second is German Maximillian Kieffer.

Eight players are tied for 4th at three-under including Zimbabwean Brendon De Jonge and recently turned pro Nathan Holman.

Drawcards Matt Kuchar (USA) and Vijay Singh (Fiji) finished at even par and one-over respectively. Meanwhile, young Victorian amateur Ryan Ruffels recorded a four-over 75 in his first appearance at the Talisker Masters.