Cancer survivor Lyle makes cut


NAPA, Calif. – The Jarrod Lyle comeback story will continue into the weekend at the Open.

Lyle bounced back from a rough start to his second round, playing his final 10 holes in five under to make the cut in his first PGA Tour start since February 2012. After making it through a Monday qualifier, the Aussie will head into the weekend at 2 under, eight shots behind leader Martin Laird.

For Lyle, making the cut means mission accomplished.

“That was the goal at the start of the week,” he said. “I’m just ecstatic that I came through and fought really hard on that back nine and I got myself into the weekend.” Open: Articles, videos and photos

After opening with an even-par 72, Lyle played his first eight holes in 2 over before ending his outward nine with a birdie on No. 18. Another birdie followed at the par-4 first, and the highlight of his round came at the par-5 fifth, where an approach to 6 feet led to an eagle.

After a second successful battle with leukemia, Lyle was eager to return to the PGA Tour but still had to battle lingering questions of self-doubt, many of which were answered with Friday’s rally. 

“I’ve proved to myself that I’ve still got a little bit of golf game left. That was the biggest question that I kept asking myself, ‘Am I going to be competitive enough?’” he said. “There’s still a long way to go, but I know now that there’s still a lot of game there, that I can come in and compete.”

With a sponsor invite already lined up for next week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Lyle has taken another step toward making his two-week trip to the U.S. a productive one as he looks to earn $283,825 in 20 starts this season to fulfill the obligations of his major medical extension.

“I keep looking back to where I was two and a half years ago, I keep looking back to where I was two years ago, and I’ve come an awful long way,” he said. “To be able to sit here and say that I’m playing golf again on the weekend of a PGA Tour (event), I’m going to make a check, I’m going to do all these things that I never thought was going to happen. It’s a dream come true, and it’s  nice to be able to do it the first tournament back.”