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Scott & Holman Share Lead in Australian Masters; Lyle Makes Cut
Adam Scott has ascended to a share of the lead in the Australian Masters. The tournament's defending champion fired a 5-under 66 at Royal Melbourne to reach 9-under 133, the same 36-hole total as fellow Aussie Nathan Holman, who shot 65 on Friday.
Scott carded three birdies on the front nine of the famed course before adding two more birdies on the back. Over two days he's posted 10 birdies and a lone bogey. He's really controlled the first four holes, going 7-under at the start of his two rounds.
"It was a great start, but unfortunately I couldn't keep it going," said Scott, the 2013 (American) Masters champion. "I'm in good shape for the weekend, but this course can jump up and get you."
Holman's card wasn't as clean as Scott's. The 22-year-old from Melbourne had seven birdies, an eagle on the par-4 sixth, a bogey and a double-bogey on the par-5 second.
Only one stroke behind the co-leaders are Australians Matthew Griffin (65) and first-round leader Nick Cullen (69). Four back is American Matt Kuchar (66), while five behind are Aussies Jason Norris (69) and Brody Ninyette (70), and Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge (70).
In addition to Scott - the No. 2-ranked player in the world, the headliner of the Australian Masters is Jarrod Lyle, who's returning to competition following a second bout with leukemia. The Aussie followed up his opening 1-over 72 with an even-par 71 to make the 36-hole cut in his first tournament in 20 months.
The 32-year-old Lyle said his legs felt heavy Friday but would use his "fighting instinct" to get through the weekend. "If I have to crawl those last 18 holes, I'm crawling them," Lyle said. "Nothing's going to stop me from finishing."
Lyle, who had a couple of emotional moments on the first tee Thursday - tearing when he was introduced and weeping again when he walked to the ropes to hug his wife Briony and greet their young daughter Luci - is excited about this latest comeback.
"I've done it; I've come here and achieved the biggest goal I've set myself for the week and that was to play four rounds of golf," Lyle said. "I couldn't be happier than where I am."
Scott expressed the thoughts of many players who wanted Lyle to play 72 holes this week. "It's phenomenal. He's a beauty," Scott said. "I'm so happy for him. To see him finish 1-over, it's great. We love having him back."
For all the scores, visit http://www.pga.org.au/scores/99739.