Lye Happy to be Busy


WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Mark Lye will pull double-duty on the Champions Tour this weekend and he's not complaining a bit.
After what Lye went through -- a bout with cancer followed by weeks of chemotherapy -- he's thrilled to still be a part of the game.
'It's just great to be out here,' he said.
Lye will play in the Allianz Championship starting Friday. When he finishes his round, he'll don a headset, grab a microphone and serve as a walking analyst for The Golf Channel, which is televising the event.
If he happens to be in contention Sunday and playing in a late group during the telecast, well, he won't have a problem with that and neither will the network.
'That's good,' Lye said. 'Because The Golf Channel benefits that way and I benefit that way. I don't have to work and play.'
This will be the third Champions Tour event for Lye, who once was a regular on the PGA Tour and had cancer surgery a little more than a year ago.
On the Fourth of July last year, Lye learned that the melanoma he thought was out of his system 12 years ago had returned and infected a lymph node in his upper left leg. He had surgery on July 10 and began a month of chemotherapy treatments the week after working on the announcing team for the PGA Championship.
Then came the worst part -- five months of taking the drug interferon every other day.
'It's just a nasty drug,' he said. 'I was at 195 (pounds) and was down to 165. I couldn't tee up a golf ball, my hands were shaking so much. I started losing a third of my hair. My mental state was gone.
'My doctor took one look at me and he just said, 'You can't take any more of this drug.' '
Lye is taking a milder drug now and will be on it for another eight months. He began feeling better and decided to play in the Senior British Open at Turnberry in late July. He spent two months getting ready because he felt under the gun to play well.
'I'm thinking, boy, I'm putting everything on the line here because I've been on The Golf Channel for nine years,' Lye said. 'If I go over there and shoot a couple of bad rounds, who's going to listen to me then?'
Lye came through, finishing 1-under to tie for 27th. He tied for 47th at the 3M Championship near Minneapolis two weeks ago and now is looking for a good performance with his clubs and his microphone this week.
'The last thing I want is to be pitied,' Lye said. 'I've got stage three, is what it's called. There's two more stages. Hopefully, I've got it licked.'
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Allianz Championship
  • More Champions Tour Preview Information
    Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.