JARROD LYLE has announced an end to his US PGA TOUR career but promises to be very active at home as the 2016 Aussie summer of golf heats up.
Lyle has indicated he will return to Australia permanently to live and play after failing to secure a viable golfing career in the US.
At the beginning of September the 35 year old Victorian posted a lengthy item titled “The End” on his personal website in which he details the reasons for his decision and explains the constant battles with health and fitness and the demands of making enough money to keep his tour card.
This is Lyle’s post:
I am writing this update from the comfort of my couch in Torquay on a cold and wintery day. Things didn’t go to plan in the US and I unfortunately didn’t make enough money to keep my Tour card. It’s all really confusing at the moment, but here’s a bit of a summary of what has happened.
When I returned to pro golf way back in 2014, I had 20 events to make about $265,000.00. At the time, that didn’t seem like much at all, especially when you think about how much money we are playing for each week. It didn’t take very long for me to realize that it was going to be much harder than I thought. After having so much time away from professional golf, it was incredibly hard to regain my ‘match fitness’ and be able to string together 4 good rounds of golf. My medical status also meant that I was a long way down the list of players, so I was only able to play certain events and often had several weeks off in between. Most pro golfers would agree that you usually need to keep playing to get some consistency and improve on the week before, but that was not something I was able to do. Whenever I did get to play 2 or 3 weeks in a row, fatigue became a big factor as well.
It ended up taking much longer for me to play 20 events than I thought. I made the decision to return to Australia for a period of time in both 2014 and 2015 when I realised that my game was not where it needed to be, and took the time to work on different parts of my game in the hope that I could get it back up to PGA standard. Everything came to a head this season, with my entire career being decided by my results in the last event of the 2015/16 season. Unfortunately, just like 15 of my previous 20 starts on tour, I missed the cut and did not make any money.
So now I have some hard questions to ask myself. What am I going to do? Do I try and go through Q School and try to get some Web.com status? Do I leave my family once again to try and resurrect my career in the US? Or do I just stay at home and play Australian events? I have always enjoyed being back home and playing in front of the Aussie crowds, plus it means more time with my girls and the chance to be a hands-on dad. It’s a really tough choice, with good arguments leading me both ways.
These questions have been in the back of my mind for quite awhile now and I didn’t want to have to think too hard about them over the past few months. But now the time has come, and I can’t ignore the reality of my situation any longer. If I’m honest, I didn’t actually play all that bad in the US this year, it just wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t from the lack of trying. I felt like my game was in good shape most weeks, but I have realized that during the 2.5 years off while sick the guys out there have just gotten a lot better. To see 2 guys shoot 58 in 2 weeks out on both the Web.com tour and PGA tour shows everybody that these guys are unbelievable. They are hitting it further and holing more putts than I have ever seen. The cuts are lower than I can remember. To shoot 4 under in a Web.com event and have the weekend off shows everybody how low these players can shoot. I currently have automatic entry into the second stage of Web.com tour school, which will help to improve my status on Web.com tour and give me a few more starts over there. I still have some time to decide whether I will try for that. It all comes down to money and whether I will spend a lot more to get there than I will make. It’s a gamble like it has been for the last 13 years, but now I guess being older and wiser I’m starting to look at things a bit different. The biggest factor that is keeping me home is my girls. They wouldn’t be traveling with me at all next year due to kinder and I don’t want to miss out on all these little things. They have given up a lot by following me around the world to help me resurrect my dreams, I think now it’s my turn to give a little back to them and let them follow their dreams.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel like I can contend again but I need to make more putts like everybody else. I still have the desire to go out and play my best every day, and like most golfers I get frustrated when it doesn’t happen the way I want. The fire is still there and I still feel like I can win tournaments. I want to be a golfer. The enjoyment is definitely still there and I want to go out every day and shoot the lowest score I possibly can. Tournament golf has been a huge part of my life as both an amateur and a professional, so I’m not completely ready to part ways with it.
I didn’t want to finish my career in the States like this, but unfortunately it looks like my time is up and now it’s onto something else. I am looking forward to the upcoming Australian summer of golf, and I plan to play as much as I can between now and Christmas. I’ve got some pro ams lined up next week, as well as the Fiji International, NSW Open and QLD Open. I’m going to do my best to get into the fields for the Australian Open and PGA Championship, but there are some big names coming out this year and starts will be tough to find. Hopefully I can get lucky on the qualifying days for those events!
I still want to be within the golfing scene and just need to find the right fit for me. If things don’t work out on the course, I might give commentary a go. I have always enjoyed the commentary side of golf, and had a blast doing it years ago on the Web.com tour and a few other times during the Australian summer. Maybe I could get out there and do a bit of off camera work, only because my head isn’t great for mainstream tv! While I try to make a decision about my future, I’m sure I’ll be put to work with our business which will mean putting my salesman hat on – something that is way outside my comfort zone! If you haven’t got a Nexbelt or a pair of 2UNDR and you work in the golf industry – I’m coming for you.
I want to give a big thank you to everybody who has supported me and my family along this journey over the last 13 years, especially the last 4 years. We have received so many messages of support that it’s impossible for me to thank you all personally, but I hope this will do.
I have some of the best fans and friends out there and I consider myself very lucky. It’s not the end for me playing golf. Note that I have not yet used the dreaded ‘r’ word just yet – it just seems crazy to be talking about retirement at such a young age. After all, I did sink a 63-foot putt for birdie on my last hole of pro golf on the PGA tour, so maybe I do still have some game left in me!