Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle who made just one top 10 finish on the US PGA Tour this season, recorded carded a seven-under 65 in a spotless opening round of the Australian Open with a $1.54 million prize purse, including five birdies and an eagle three.
World no. 5 Dustin Johnson, the top-ranked American player on the field, made a six-under 66 to finish the round one shot away from Lyle. Johnson, who scored a victory and finished in the top 10 on the US PGA Tour six times this season, claimed that he was a “little rusty” after almost two months without participating in any golf events.
Lyle, who got over leukemia when he was 17 in 1999, said that it was his best result in a difficult season on the US PGA Tour where he took 161st place to get relegated to the Nationwide Tour next year.
In the meantime, Tiger Woods fired a 4-under 68, three shots behind Lyle. His future Presidents Cup captain, Fred Couples, opened with a five-under 67.
Couples, 52, who has 53 event wins under his belt in his 30 year playing career, shot a bogey and six birdies playing veteran Aussie Peter Senior, 52 and with American John Cook, 54.
World no.17 Bubba Watson who will also play for the US team next week, recorded three bogeys, five birdies and an eagle in a four-under 68.
President Cup International captain Greg Norman had a 71. Norman snatched his first Australian Open title in 1980, before five members of his squad were born.