Jarrod Lyle Monday qualified for the 2014 Frys.com Open following nearly two years of medical leave while he battled leukemia for the second time in his life.
The 33-year-old Australian shot a bogey-free 66 during a qualifying round in Napa, Calif., and played his way through an eight-man playoff for one of four spots in the first tournament of the PGA Tour's wrapround 2014-15 season.
“I am now really looking forward to Thursday and hopefully I can kick start the season in style,” Lyle told the Australian Associated Press.
Lyle left the Tour in March 2012 when he was diagnosed with leukemia, the same cancer he had fought as a teenager. He was overlooked for a sponsor exemption to the Frys.com Open, so this effort was a crucial step toward retroactively making up the $324,123 he needs to hit No. 125 on the 2012 money list, and thereby keep his full Tour card.
“I was disappointed not to get an invite, mostly because they didn’t even let me know,” Lyle said. “My wife Briony was pretty devastated but I told her I had a chance to qualify and what a better way to stick it to them.”
Lyle last played a Tour event at the February 2012 OHL Mayakoba Classic in Mexico, and his last U.S. event was at the February 2012 Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club. He first returned to competitive play in November 2013, making the cut at the Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne.
There's no telling what Lyle has in store for the 2014-15 season, but it’s safe to assume he's not going anywhere without a fight.