Twenty-nine months after he last teed it up in North America, Jarrod Lyle is on the cusp of his return to competition.
Lyle is in the field this week at the Midwest Classic on the Web.com Tour, the next step in his return to the PGA Tour after beating leukemia for a second time.
"To get back out there is a massive achievement," Lyle said Monday in a pre-tournament press conference. "I’ve pushed myself hard enough to get back out there, and now the challenge is just to see how I do and whether I still have the passion for the game, which I think I do."
Lyle last teed it up on the PGA Tour at the OHL Mayakoba Classic in February 2012, when he tied for 37th after notching a career-best T-4 result the week prior at the Northern Trust Open. After undergoing successful chemotherapy to combat the return of the leukemia, which first afflicted him at the age of 17, Lyle made his competitive return in his native Australia at the Talisker Masters last November, where he made the cut.
Lyle now plans to test his game at a trio of events on the Web.com Tour, with starts scheduled at the Price Cutter Charity Championship in Springfield, Mo., and the News Sentinel Open in Knoxville, Tenn., after this week's event in Overland Park, Kan.
"I’ve targeted these three tournaments because they’re relatively close together, so traveling to them is not going to be too big of an issue," Lyle said. "Plus I’ve scheduled one week, then a week off, then two weeks, to see how I can cope with two weeks of golf in some pretty hot conditions.”
Lyle plans to return to the PGA Tour for the 2014-15 season. When he does, the 32-year-old will be equipped with a major medical extension and will need to make $283,825 in 20 starts to reinstate his full-time playing privileges.
"Everything I'm doing is planning for my return to the PGA Tour," Lyle said. "I'd love to be able to go out and hopefully knock off a couple good finishes."