The Fighter, Part 6: Health, family and golf on Lyle’s side

By Rex HoggardFebruary 23, 2014, 11:14 am

SHEPPARTON, Australia – Last November Jarrod Lyle exceeded everyone’s expectations, even his own.

Before teeing off for his first competitive round in nearly two years at the 2013 Australian Masters, Lyle acknowledged that he didn’t really know what to expect since beating leukemia for the second time.

“You get out there and you hit shots that you’ve never hit before and you sort of think to yourself, ‘I don’t know where that one came from, and I don’t like it,’” Lyle said before the Australian Masters. “You know I’ve hit a few hosels out of bounds and got myself into a bit of trouble, but you know it’s all part and parcel of coming back.”

From those lowered expectations came an opening-round 72 at Royal Melbourne, followed by a relatively stress-free 71 and then a Saturday 70 to head into the final round tied for 29th place. Although he struggled on Sunday (79) and tied for 57th, his enthusiasm was not dampened.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Lyle said. “I’m just loving the whole opportunity and looking forward to playing for the first time in a long time.”

With the ultimate goal a return to the PGA Tour, where he was beginning his fifth full season in 2012 when he was diagnosed for the second time with leukemia, Lyle continued his comeback at this week’s Victorian Open.

When Lyle does return to the Tour, his fellow competitors may not recognize him. The chemotherapy and radiation treatments he endured in his second bout with cancer caused a significant weight loss. For the first time in his career he has started to split time between the gym and practice tee.

The swing, however, will be the same.

Following his successful bone-marrow transplant in 2012 and his decision to return to competitive golf, Lyle reunited with his former swing coach Sandy Jamieson, who met the Australian while he was attending the Victorian Institute of Sport and worked with him earlier in his career.

“I felt we had unfinished business, and at times our relationship when I was coaching him there was a fantastic relationship,” Jamieson said. “So the chance to sort of rekindle that was probably one of the most exciting things professionally that has happened to me.”

Lyle’s initial competitive concern was a predictable lack of length off the tee. In 2010 he ranked 23rd in driving distance on Tour. At the Australian Masters he said his lack of power and stamina was his biggest concern.

“When we started working together it was in the middle of the winter and Jarrod was worried that he had lost all of his distance,” Jamieson said. “But the thing is with golf pros, they follow the sun, and he hadn’t had a winter hitting golf balls for probably 10 years,”

While the broad brush strokes of Lyle’s comeback are set, with the ultimate goal a competitive return to the PGA Tour, the specifics remain a moving target.

Lyle will have 20 events under his major medical exemption to earn $283,825, which combined with his earnings before he was diagnosed with leukemia would match No. 125 on the 2012 money list.

According to his manager, Tony Bouffler, the plan is for Lyle to return to America in August to play three “rehab” starts on the Tour. He is allowed a total of five rehab starts, and the Australian Masters and Victorian Open count against that total. Then Lyle hopes to pick up his PGA Tour career in October at the start of the 2014-15 season, depending on which events he’s able to get into.

All that, however, is contingent on his continued recovery and his game.

“There’s things that I still need to keep a close eye on health-wise, and the doctors are probably a little reluctant to let me travel too far away, so it’s not worth me trying to get back too early,” Lyle said. “I don’t want to go over there and waste my medical (exemption) by coming over too early and not being prepared enough to play.” What is not unclear is his drive to play the Tour again. His finish at the Australian Masters may have fueled his confidence, but not his desire. That was always there.

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.

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McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

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How The Open cut line is determined

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

• There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

• There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (