Jarrod Lyle grabs first round lead Down Under

In an eventful first round at the Australian Open that included an albatross and a player walking off the course, Aussie golfer Jarrod Lyle grabbed the first round lead in his country's open at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney.

Lyle, a Shepparton, Victoria native, kept a clean card on his way to firing an impressive seven-under par 65, to take a one shot lead after the opening 18 over Dustin Johnson and Nick Watney.

The Aussie came out of the gate firing, birdying three holes on the front nine. He also added two more birdies on the back side to go along with his eagle on the par-five 14th.

Seven-under par 65, is Lyle's lowest round of the year so far in 2011 and I am sure a very welcome sight as he finished 167th on the PGA Tour money list this season.

That will force him to go back to Q-School to attempt to regain his PGA Tour status.

‘‘I’ve played solid all year, but I just haven’t really achieved anything,’’ said Lyle on his post round press conference.

‘‘On the course it’s been a really, really rough year and off the course it’s been awesome, so it’s kind of weird how that works."

Lyle, a cancer survivor, and his fiancee' recently learned they were going to become parents so there is much to smile about right now in the Lyle camp right now.

‘‘But I’m happy how the week’s started. I’ve had a really good preparation and I can’t wait to get back out there.’’

Lyle will take the first round lead into Friday by one over Americans Dustin Johnson and Nick Watney.

Fellow Aussie Steven Jones is only two back at five-under par, along with U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples.

Chasing Lyle is a group of six golfers three of the pace at three-under par that includes Bubba Watson Australian amateur Jake Higginbottom and Tiger Woods.

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