Luke Elvy: Lyle confirms he is PGA Tour Ready
No one ever doubted Jarrod Lyle’s courage, all HE needed to know was that HE could compete on the big stage again…or as Lyle called it “being PGA Tour ready.” After a strong return following a 995-day layoff, it’s unanimous – HE is more than ready.
Forced to Monday qualify for the season opener after tournament organisers strangely denied him an sponsors invite, Lyle performed well all four days and finished T31. Here’s how he did it…
Jarrod Lyle (Credit: Getty Images)
A late double bogey on 17th stopped him from going under par in the opening round, it’d be the only day he’d fail to do it. Another double on day two threatened his position to make the cut, but in true fighting fashion Lyle eagled his 14th hole and assure weekend work.
Moving day was uneventful… a 1 under 71, but his finish on Sunday was not. Sitting mid 50s on the leader board he birdied three of the last four holes to end in style. The $33,300 payday is a great start to his Major Medical Exemption.
“Very proud of my efforts this week.” Said Lyle via a text after his finish. “Feeling good about teeing it up again in Vegas and hopefully playing even better.”
With 20 events to make $283,825 or $14,191 per week, another 19 of those and the job is done, if only it was that simple. What Jarrod now faces is what he struggled with in both returns in Australia and on the Web.com tour – maintaining the rage.
Excitement and adrenaline helped with his first start back in the US, but the T11 was followed by three missed cuts. He lamented some rust in his game, particularly around the greens and momentary losses of focus.
Hard work with coach Sandy Jamieson in the build up to his PGA Tour return set out to fix those issues What Jamieson saw excited him and he sees Lyle eclipsing his best finish on the PGA Tour, a T4 at Riviera, just before he fell ill again.
“If this is a solid week just wait as there are no weaknesses in his game. With steady improvement, look out podium,” Jamieson predicted.
Jamieson, said he and Lyle have a couple of “secret things” they are doing which no one else on Tour does and knows it will serve the Victorian well this time around. One thing we all know… he’s got a heart as big as Phar Lap’s and will continue to inspire like the champion racehorse.
Week one of the new PGA Tour season was strong one for our Aussie contingent. Steven Bowditch charged home over the weekend to snatch outright second. It’s a further boost to his career after winning earlier in the year in Texas.
Robert Allenby had his first top 10 on the PGA Tour since the FedEx St Jude Classic in the middle of 2013. As a long-time supporter of Challenge, the charity which Lyle’s Leuk the Duck comes from, it couldn’t happen in a more appropriate week. And Cameron Percy tied for 26th.
Now the PGA Tour wrap around season demands for a fast start, all those guys will benefit from a good first up performance. Let’s hope there is even more riches in Las Vegas.