Victorian cancer survivor Jarrod Lyle is confident he will be fit to return to competitive golf in the US later this year.
The 32-year-old says he has recovered enough from a second fight with leukaemia in time for the start of this year’s Web.com tour.
In preparation for his comeback Lyle and his family, wife Briony and two-year-old daughter Lusi, will swap their Torquay home in June for their American base in Orlando, Florida.
Lyle’s last return was in last November’s Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne. He then played in February’s Victorian Open at 13th Beach but missed the cut.
With three tournaments remaining before he loses his major medical exemption, Lyle first needs to tee up in a trio of events on the Web.com Tour, starting with the Midwest Classic in Kansas on July 24.
“I didn’t think it was going to be possible a while ago, but now there’s that light at the end of the tunnel and that’s the PGA Tour again.
“There was a time when if I never played golf again I wouldn’t have cared.
“But now things are back where they need to be and the golf’s in a reasonable shape again, it seems like the right thing for me to get back to playing.
“For the past six months I’ve worked pretty hard to get myself back in shape and now it’s become a reality.
“It’s pretty exciting again to put the hammer down so I can be 100 per cent ready when I hit US soil.
“We just needed to wait until we thought everything was where it needed to be and now it feels that way, the decision was a lot easier to take off and start the journey back to where I feel like I should be."
Before heading to the US Lyle planned to get into shape at home in Shepparton with a solid and serious roster of games with club members.
His next step was to play 18 rounds of golf next month with the members at The Sands in Torquay.
Lyle’s ranking means he will need sponsors’ invitations to play in the Frys and Shriners Hospital events but he is confident of gaining starts.
He said he would return to Australia to play all four events on the Australian PGA Tour in November and December.
Lyle has won twice on the Web.com tour but in 2012 he suffered another bout of leukaemia, which he had fought as a teenager.
He had a critical cord blood transplant after three rounds of chemotherapy, which began shortly after the birth of his daughter.
By: Robert Grant