Jarrod Lyle's first competitive round in the U.S. in more than 29 months was a strong one, as the Aussie opened with a bogey-free 67 at the Web.com Tour's Midwest Classic.
Lyle, who has now successfully beaten leukemia twice, last teed it up in the U.S. at the 2012 Northern Trust Open, where he notched a career-best T-4 finish. He returned to competition in his native Australia last fall after undergoing chemotherapy, and is teeing it up this week in Overland Park, Kan., with an eye on returning to the PGA Tour for the 2014-15 season.
Lyle birdied two of his first four holes at Nicklaus GC at Lionsgate, adding consecutive birdies on Nos. 8 and 9 to make the turn in 4 under and put his name atop the early leaderboard. The 32-year-old ended his round with nine straight pars, and his score of 4-under 67 left him two shots off the early pace set by Denmark's Sebastian Cappelen. Lyle's stat line included 9 of 14 fairways hit, 16 of 18 greens in regulation and 31 putts.
This is the first of three warm-up starts Lyle has scheduled on the Web.com Tour, with plans to play in both the Price Cutter Charity Championship and News Sentinel Open next month. Lyle's ultimate goal remains a return to the PGA Tour, and when he begins next season he will have 20 starts with which to earn $283,825 to fulfill the obligations of his major medical extension.