• Australian Masters

Scott tied for second at Aussie Masters

ESPN staff
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Adam Scott is two shots off the lead at the Australian Masters © Getty Images
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Adam Scott shot 67 to sit tied for second in his defence of his Australian Masters crown after Thursday's first round.

Compatriot Nick Cullen tops the leaderboard, two shots ahead of Scott, who completed a career 'Aussie Slam' last week with his Australian PGA win at Royal Pines, his first home event since becoming Masters champion in Augusta.

Having started his day on the 10th hole, Scott bogeyed the par-four eighth at Royal Melbourne to fall back to four under alongside Germany's Max Kieffer.

Scott is set to team up with Jason Day for Australia next week in the World Cup, which also takes place at Royal Melbourne, before the Australian Open the week after at Royal Sydney.

"A 67 around here is a good score," Scott said. "It was a bit of a slow finish but it was a good way to open up.

"I felt like I left a couple out there, but my game was in pretty good shape other than that, and four rounds like that might go a long way this week."

Cullen holed out from 65 yards with a 60-degree wedge to eagle the par-four 11th, before birdies at the next two holes and on the 17th to go three shots ahead at seven under. A bogey on 18 checked his progress, however.

"Any time you shoot 6 under around a course like this, you have to be happy," Cullen said.

A group of eight players including Zimbabwe's Brendon De Jonge and Australia's Peter O'Malley sit at three under after carding 68s.

Jarrod Lyle embraced his wife Briony after completing his first round of golf since a second bout of leukemia © Getty Images
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There was also an emotional return to professional golf for Jarrod Lyle after his second bout of leukemia. Lyle shot 72, level with Vijay Singh at one over, hitting a mixed round with three birdies and four bogeys.

"It was a feeling I thought I would never experience again," Lyle said. "The emotions overtook me on the first tee. It's something I always dreamed of, having my daughter at a tournament. It was great she got to see what I do.

"My dream is to come here and make the cut. After 12 holes things were looking grim but I fought like crazy."

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