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Back to the U.S. to prepare for PGA return: Lyle

AFTER much discussion between Briony and I, we have decided to leave for America on June 17 to step up my return to the PGA Tour.

IT’S BEEN a few weeks since my last blog and although we didn’t see an Aussie win the green jacket at Augusta, there have been great things happening in the world of Australian Golf since I last wrote. 

Firstly John Senden won the Valspar Championship in Tampa, Florida, then Steven Bowditch claimed victory in Texas, before Matt Jones won his way to the Masters with a win in Houston. It’s great to see the boys playing well over there and hopefully it’s inspiring all of you to get out there and win your local comps.

And hopefully it won't be too long before I see the boys Stateside soon. After much discussion between Briony and I, we have decided to leave for America on June 17 to step up my return to the PGA Tour.

It feels very daunting to have a leaving date set - it feels like I am a rookie again getting my first start on Tour. But I am excited to be returning and ready to put all my hard work to the test again. As long as my doctor is happy, then it’s go time.  If things aren’t 100% then we will stay and get them right.

Our schedule will comprise of three Web.com events starting in Kansas on July 24th. Then we will have a week off then two weeks in a row in Springfield, Missouri and Knoxville, Tennesee.  I have won around the course in Knoxville, so it will be nice to go back there and draw on the good vibes. 

After these events, which are the remaining three of my five allowed warm-up events, we will have six weeks off, due to the playoffs on both tours. Then hopefully we will be in the Napa Valley for the season-opening 2014-15 Fry’s event, starting on 0ctober 10. I will be relying on sponsors invites to this and the following week’s event in Las Vegas, but hopefully the tournament directors will come through and give me some help.

So now its back to the gym and driving range to keep working on getting my game competitive and ready for the Americans.

Sandy Jamison and I have been working pretty hard on getting my swing more consistent. But things feeling good and my game is getting back to where it needs to be, as recent results have shown.

My golf has been very busy of late with two solid weeks of pro-ams around Victoria, plus a couple of Charity days thrown in between.  The results during this stretch have been promising.  It’s been 14 rounds since I have shot over par, so all the hard work is starting to pay off.  My last two starts were in Traralgon and Bairnsdale. 

The pro am in Traralgon was a two-day event and I shot 65-69 for 4th place.  I had put in an old favourite putter just before leaving for the week and I think it was good move.  The first round was a day that things went my way.  I had a couple of putts lip out early on and then the hole seemed to grow in size and snatch up my ball a bit more. 

So after 26 putts I signed for a 65 and took a one-shot lead into the second round. It’s been a while since I slept on a lead! Day two started off very promising with four birdies in my first six holes and things were going well, until the hole shrunk and wouldn’t want to let my putts in. Despite a second round 69, two guys shot 64 to leapfrog in front of me. 

Bairnsdale was next and it was a slow start, but things started to fire on the fourth and after holing a heap of putts all day, I three-putted the last hole for par to finish second.  Four birdies, one eagle and a lone bogey made up a card of 66, 5-under par.

Next up, my hometown of Shepparton, where I'll play a couple of events and catch up with friends and family.  

Until next time, hit them straight and long!!

Jarrod

Jarrod Lyle is the professional ambassador for the 2013/14 Golf Link Race to Bonville, which is supporting the Challenge charity, helping relieve the pressure for children and families living with cancer. To make a donation, please visit the Challenge website.

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