Date: September 06, 2016
Author: Robert Grant

Lyle quits US Tour for good

Popular Victorian Jarrod Lyle has decided to end his US PGA Tour campaign permanently and will return to Australia to live.

In a post on his website titled "The End" Lyle said his failed bid to make enough money to continue as well as his constant battles with health and fitness made the struggle too demanding.

"I didn't want to finish my career in the States like this, but unfortunately it looks like my time is up and now it's onto something else," Lyle said.

He now plans to focus on tournaments in Australia but has left open the option of abandoning competitive play and moving into another area such as television commentary.

Lyle explained how he came to his agonising decision after months of weighing up the pathways open to him in the future.

"Things didn't go to plan in the US and I unfortunately didn't make enough money to keep my Tour card," Lyle said.

"It's all really confusing at the moment, but here's a bit of a summary of what has happened. 

"When I returned to pro golf way back in 2014, I had 20 events to make about $US265,000.00. 

"At the time, that didn't seem like much at all, especially when you think about how much money we are playing for each week. It didn't take very long for me to realize that it was going to be much harder than I thought.

"After having so much time away from professional golf, it was incredibly hard to regain my ‘match fitness’ and be able to string together four good rounds of golf.

'My medical status also meant that I was a long way down the list of players, so I was only able to play certain events and often had several weeks off in between.

"Most pro golfers would agree that you usually need to keep playing to get some consistency and improve on the week before, but that was not something I was able to do. Whenever I did get to play two or three weeks in a row, fatigue became a big factor as well.

'It ended up taking much longer for me to play 20 events than I thought. I made the decision to return to Australia for a period of time in both 2014 and 2015 when I realised that my game was not where it needed to be, and took the time to work on different parts of my game in the hope that I could get it back up to PGA standard. 

"Everything came to a head this season, with my entire career being decided by my results in the last event of the 2015/16 season. Unfortunately, just like 15 of my previous 20 starts on tour, I missed the cut and did not make any money," he said.

Lyle now plans to concentrate on the looming Australian season but indicated an off-course role would appeal to him if he continues to battle on-course.

"I am looking forward to the upcoming Australian summer of golf, and I plan to play as much as I can between now and Christmas," he said.

"I've got some pro-ams lined up next week, as well as the Fiji International, NSW Open and QLD Open.

"I'm going to do my best to get into the fields for the Australian Open and PGA Championship, but there are some big names coming out this year and starts will be tough to find. Hopefully I can get lucky on the qualifying days for those events!

"I still want to be within the golfing scene and just need to find the right fit for me.

"If things don't work out on the course, I might give commentary a go. I have always enjoyed the commentary side of golf, and had a blast doing it years ago on the tour and a few other times during the Australian summer.

"Maybe I could get out there and do a bit of off camera work, only because my head isn't great for mainstream TV!

"While I try to make a decision about my future, I'm sure I'll be put to work with our business which will mean putting my salesman hat on – something that is way outside my comfort zone!"