Two-time cancer survivor Jarrod Lyle made the weekend cut in the Australian Masters in his first event in 20 months.
Lyle followed his opening 72 and with a 71 on Friday to reach 1-over-par 143 at Royal Melbourne.
The Australian hadn’t played a tournament since a second bout with myeloid leukemia in early 2012 after having first fought off the disease when he was 17.
The 32-year-old Lyle said his legs felt heavy but he would draw on his ”fighting instinct” to finish 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, then a regular on the PGA Tour, was diagnosed with leukemia in March 2012 just before the birth of daughter Lusi. Lyle’s wife, Briony, became pregnant despite medical advice that Lyle’s first bout of cancer and the resulting chemotherapy would leave him sterile.
He has a medical exemption to return to the PGA Tour whenever he feels he’s ready. But Lyle said Friday he won’t be rushing back to the U.S. until he knows he’s physically capable.
"I don’t want to waste the medical starts that I have," he said.
Otherwise, he was enthused about his return.
"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 what I am."
Tournament co-leader Adam Scott said he and the other Australian golfers were all hoping Lyle would make it to the weekend.
"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."