Cancer survivor Jarrod Lyle's emotional return highlights 1st round at Australian Masters

Michael Dodge

Adam Scott continued his top form down under, but the return of his countryman was the biggest story on the first day of Australia's biggest tournament.

For the second straight week, there's major professional golf being played across the globe, with the Euro Tour's season finale in Dubai, the PGA Tour dropping in on Cancun, and the Australian tour hosting their version of the Masters. That means there will be another weekend of golf coverage around the clock, and by far the best story of Wednesday night/Thursday was the return of Jarrod Lyle.

Lyle, a 32-year-old Aussie, hit his first competitive shot after a 20-month hiatus to fight myeloid leukemia. This was Lyle's second bout with the disease, the first diagnosis coming when he was just 17 years old. The Australian Masters is the biggest tournament of the year down under, played on the historic Royal Melbourne, and Lyle stepped up to the first tee to a loud ovation. As Lyle predicted before the tournament, he got emotional setting up for his first tournament shot in nearly two years (via

Not that it mattered as much, but Lyle also returned with a competitive even-par round of 72 that puts him on the top half of the leaderboard and tied for 38th place.

Lyle, who has lost weight and strength during his second cancer fight, has an medical exemption to return to PGA Tour action whenever he's ready. He hasn't indicated when he plans to return full time to the world's most competitive tour, but it may not happen until later in the 2014 season.

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