Lyle's sudden departure from Germany was almost as surprising as the arrival of the Frenchman Marc Farry at the top of the leaderboard, after shooting a second successive 67.
Lyle bettered that score, coming in with a 64 - including an eagle and six birdies - for his best round of the season and the best score so far on the course. But it all counted for nothing as Lyle was penalised for signing for a 75 when he shot a 76. The mistake came at the 14th hole, when the four on his card should have read five.
The issue was further complicated when tournament director Mike Stewart revealed that Lyle's card originally showed the higher total, but then the recorder altered it, as the figures did not add up.
Lyle agreed he was angry at the time and did not check the card - which had been marked by his playing partner Anders Forsbrand - properly. He said that he knew the ultimate responsibility was his and admitted: "I'm in the wrong."
Stewart said: "There is only so much we can do to check a card. Sandy shoved it down and left without speaking. We corrected it from 76 to 75, as that is how his scores added up."
Lyle's mood was in stark contrast to Farry's. He was allocated a place in the tournament only at the 11th hour and is making the most of his opportunity. A bad back hampered his progress last year and he lost his card. Now he has slimmed down and the injury has all but disappeared.
Farry, who arrived here late on Wednesday, holds a two-shot lead over New Zealand's Frank Nobilo, with the Irishmen Raymond Burns and Eoghan O'Connell a shot further back with Jarmo Sandelin, of Sweden.
The overnight leader Burns got a level-par 72, O'Connell a 65. Bernhard Langer battled through with a 67 and is handily placed at 140, four under par.Reuse content