Jarrod Lyle stares at the grass at his feet, tears welling in his eyes, his chin crumbling, his teeth biting into his lower lip.

He has just safely hit the first drive in his first professional golf tournament in 18 months and is officially back playing the game he loves after a second round of treatment for leukaemia.

It's hard to imagine he was thinking about his next shot. More likely, the 32-year-old was pondering the journey that had led up to this gut-wrenching moment.

The crowd roared as soon as the crack of that tee shot sounded. They would have done so no matter where it landed.

For the record, it missed the fairway but went further than that of his partners – Geoff Ogilvy and Brendon De Jonge. It was 18 months of raw energy unleashed.

As promised, much of the gallery following him were draped in yellow shirts and caps – "Team Lyle" members showing their support for the charity closest to his heart, Challenge.

Family, friends and well-wishers – some with tears in their eyes – were at Royal Melbourne, Lyle's favourite course, despite the cold weather.

He was understandably nervous, joking with an official as he received his papers at the opening tee, trying to calm himself.

But the wait at the first was just too long. It always is. But this time it must have seemed like an eternity.

He paced away from the playing group and caddies, again trying to manage his emotion.

The silence around surely didn't help.

As if sensing the moment, his wife Briony made her way through the crowd to greet him and pass his daughter, Lusi, over the crowd barrier. Her T-shirt read, "Go Daddy".

He gave his 18-month-old a kiss he will never forget, even if she struggles to remember it in the coming years.

Finally, his name was called. "From Victoria, please welcome back Jarrod Lyle," the announcer said.

Warm applause and a loud "Go get 'em Jay" followed.

Lyle lifted his club to acknowledge the support, as a cricketer would after making a half-century.

He teed up, stepped back from his ball and looked ahead at the fairway that would forever mark the start of a new journey.

He hesitated before taking his stance, wiping away tears.

He said that would happen, but the moment was no less touching.

He hooked the drive, but so what? He just wanted it down there.

The question then was, how could he get his heart to stop beating so fast. How could he forget about what had just happened in order to focus on what had to had to happen next.

A wedge from the rough got him onto the green with the others, but then another wait.

On the second hole, a former world No.1 and three-time major winner was getting set to drive and the layout of this course means he have right of way.

There were 28 people in the gallery following the legendary Vijay Singh.

Too many to count had their eyes fixed on Lyle.

The Victorian two-putted for a par, picked up his ball and raised it to his supporters.

As he headed to the second, a fan with impeccable timing summed it up nicely: "Welcome back, Jarrod."

Welcome back indeed.