Date: January 07, 2013

Grant Report – Lyle upbeat despite enforced break

Victorian Jarrod Lyle hopes to return to the US PGA Tour in 2014 as he takes a lengthy break to continue his fight against cancer.

Lyle says he had no choice but to put away his clubs. Doctors told him he would not be able to compete after he was hit with acute myeloid leukaemia last year.

He underwent courses of chemotherapy as well as a cord blood transplant and has been in remission since.

"The fact that I’ve gone through cancer treatment and all that kind of stuff hasn’t allowed me to be at my best, so I need some time to get my body right,’’ Lyle told the Shepparton News.

‘‘I haven’t touched a club for eight months this year, so it would be pointless for me to even try and play and currently I am not allowed to play golf anyway.

‘‘Once I started my chemo and transplant, the decision was made for me that I wouldn’t be able to play for quite some time.’’

He said he hoped to be back in action next year but a comeback would depend on how well his body recovered from the treatment.

Lyle can use a medical exemption if he does return to the tour.

The 31-year-old said one of the positives of his enforced break was being able to spend more time with his daughter.

‘‘It’s been great to be able to spend that time with her and watch Lusi grow up and be a part of her life from the day she was born,’’ he said. ‘‘Not everybody gets to experience that, and I’m able to do a lot of things with her during the day, so it’s been a positive that’s come out of a negative.’’

Lyle is subject to regular check-ups and is on medication to help his fragile immune system. He said he leads a ‘‘pretty normal life’’, but had to be careful to avoid catching an infection, which could put him back in hospital.

Nevertheless he moved his family to Torquay, avoiding crowded areas because of the possibility he could come in contact with someone who is sick.

‘‘We’re not leading a hermit’s life, we go outside, but we’re being pretty careful with when and where we go,’’ he said.

He says it is a strange experience being at a tournament, such as last year’s Australian Masters a Kingston Heath and not playing.

‘‘It was weird being at a golf tournament that I haven’t missed for seven years or whatever its been, and standing around there and seeing all the guys practising and I’m there just watching,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s a little bit different, but it’s just the way it is at the moment.’’

He also turned up at the recent Portsea pro-am catching up with his golfing friends.

"I wanted to come here and at least put a bit of pressure on them even though I’m not playing, kind of scare them into thinking, ‘He’s back’," Lyle said.

"I haven’t missed one of these in probably eight or nine years," he said. "I’d like to be able to get out there soon, but I’ve got a lot of work to do before I can start playing again.

"I’ve lost all my muscles and stuff like that. There’s really no point for me to get back out on a golf course at the moment when I’ve got no strength. It’s just going to take time for me to build that up."

By: Robert Grant