Emotional return for Mayfair

2006-08-18 08:20

Medinah - American Billy Mayfair, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer two weeks ago, briefly held the lead in the first round of the PGA Championship on Thursday.

"I'm thrilled to be here and almost had tears in my eyes today," he told reporters after carding a three-under-par 69 to move within three strokes of early leader Lucas Glover.

Mayfair, who has won five times on the PGA Tour, was six-under with six holes to play but stumbled with three late bogeys.

He said he tired towards the end and found it difficult at times to keep his emotions in check.

"The greatest thing out there all day was probably the fans and just all the encouragement and everybody rooting me on really made a difference," said the 40-year-old.

Mayfair said his one-week recuperation from surgery and an earlier break from golf before he was diagnosed had disrupted his preparation.

"I wasn't able to work out, get into shape and do my usual exercising that I normally do before I came here," he explained.

"To not play for a month, mentally and physically, wore me out today.

"My biggest thought of the day was I was just so happy to be on the first tee.

"The sun was out and it was just a beautiful sight and I know where I was two weeks ago. I can't explain how great it was just to be here."

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