Date: October 18, 2016
Author: Bernie Pramberg

Relaxed Lyle looking for best in Qld Open

od Lyle looked a relaxed man when he teed-off in Tuesday’s pro-am preceding the Isuzu Queensland Open to be played Oct 20-23 at Brisbane Golf Club.

“I always have a good outlook on golf and life since my illness,’’ said Lyle.

“Four years ago I thought I would never play golf again so to be out here is a bonus for me.’’

The 35-year old Victoria, who has overcome two battles with acute myeloid leukemia, had his first taste of the Brisbane layout in the pro-am.

Lyle played 10 tournaments on the US PGA Tour this year under a medical exemption, but produced some of his best recent golf to finish 12th at the $1.5m Fiji International 10 days ago.

After making the cut right on the number, Lyle shot outstanding rounds of 67-70 in difficult weekend conditions to race from 65th to 12th place on the leaderboard.

“Most of the year I’ve played pretty decent without ever achieving consistently low scoring going,’’ he said.

Lyle joked that he is “too old” to have expectations but believes he can be “competitive” this week at Brisbane.

“I know there are a lot of good players in this field but after Fiji I feel I can be competitive.

“Everything feels like it is in place, but it is the little one per-centers that make the difference. You need to be playing repetitive golf for that to happen and I haven’t had a lot of tournament play lately.’’

Lyle is based in Torquay, Victoria, with his wife, Briony, and daughters Lusi, 4, and Jemma, five months.

“Since Jemma came along I’m making up for all the nappies I didn’t change when I was sick,’’ he joked.

Lyle has now lost playing status on the US PGA Tour but retained limited status on the Tour as a past winner.

“I just didn’t make enough money this year to retain my status on the main tour,’’ he said.

He will play the Australian PGA Championship at Royal Pines in December and is hoping for an invitation to the Australian Open.

A field of 132 players will tee-off in Thursday’s opening round of the Isuzu Queensland Open which is being held at Brisbane Golf Club for the first time in 25 years.

The inaugural Open was held at Brisbane in 1925 and won by Harry Sinclair.

Admission to the Open is free and Golf Queensland has organised plenty of on-course activities for families.

A feature of the Open is the $500,000 hole-in-one prize up for grabs on the weekend on the 265m, par-4, 15th hole. A grandstand has been erected beside the green to ensure spectators can have a close view as players shoot for the cash bonanza.