Lyle's comeback starts with 67 on Web.com Tour
With wife and daughter in tow, Jarrod Lyle set out in his new RV last Tuesday from his home in Orlando with Kansas City firmly in his sights – the site of this week's Web.com Tour Midwest Classic.
Along the way, the family enjoyed counting what seemed like endless cornfields in America's midwest.
Needless to say, there are quite a few more cornfields than strokes it took him to get around in his first competitive round back in the U.S. after recovering from his second bout with leukemia over the past two years.
PHOTOS: Jarrod Lyle at home with family
View images of Jarrod Lyle and his family while visiting Golf Channel studios and at his home in Orlando.
Lyle posted a bogey-free, 4-under 67 at Nicklaus GC on Thursday and sits just three shots back of Paul Haley II, tied for 13th.
"I knew my game was going to be in OK shape, but was not expecting to shoot that type of score straight up," said Lyle, a two-time winner on the Web.com Tour.
The stats were impressive, as he hit 9 of 14 fairways, 16 of 18 greens and took just 31 putts – the latter which he was slightly frustrated with after the round.
"I hit a lot of greens and had good looks, but I didn't hit great putts," said Lyle. "But to not really hole too many putts (and shoot 67), that is encouraging. It shows me the things I was doing at home (in Australia) with my coach (Sandy Jamieson) are looking good and heading in the right direction."
In November, cameras caught Lyle with a flood of emotions as he teed off at the Australian Masters, his first tournament action since beating leukemia for a second time.
The emotions were different this time, as he enjoyed the "under the radar" aspect of the Web.com Tour.
"It was just the three players, three caddies and the scoring official," said Lyle. "It was kind of nice, to hit that first tee ball and get out of the way."
Lyle is preparing himself for a return to the PGA Tour in October at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open in Las Vegas, the first of 20 starts he'll have to make approximately $285,000 to keep his Tour card. But, after Thursday's round, there is an outside chance he could earn enough money to get himself into the thick of things for a berth off the Web.com Tour.
"It could make the next year a bit easier," said Lyle. "I only have three events to make a fair bit of money to make that become a reality. But I can't really look too far ahead of what has happened.
"My goal was to play 12 rounds over the three events, and that'd be a huge achievement in of itself."
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Editor's note: Nick Masuda spent time with Jarrod Lyle recently as he and his family prepared for his return to American golf, revealing what Lyle's battle to come back from leukemia was like. Read about it here.