JARROD Lyle and Peter Lonard are two of the marquee players teeing off at the Isuzu Queensland Open this week, with both looking to restructure their careers.
Lyle will be starting a new Aussie chapter as he leaves his pursuit of the US PGA TOUR and focuses his attention on Australian golf and his family.
Lonard is in a similar position and has sold his Florida apartment and is back living in Sydney.
Lyle’s health issues are well known and having failed to regain his status on the PGA TOUR following a major medical exemption, has happily returned home to his family, which expanded this year to include a second daughter; Gemma.
“I still want to play golf. But it’s pretty much done and dusted over in the States. I want to play here as much as possible, play every Aussie event that I can and also some pro-ams,” said Lyle.
“It’s just nice being at home, playing in front of a home crowd and not having to leave my family at home for three months and come home to rekindle relationships with my daughters.”
With his passion for golf still strong, Lyle is focusing all of his attention on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, finding out at the Fiji International that his game is still in shape.
“The fire is still there to play and obviously last week was a step in the right direction again. It showed me that I still have the game to compete out there,” said Lyle, who finished T12 at the European Tour co-sanctioned Fiji International.
“I think my round on Saturday, shooting 5-under in the wind was pretty good. It was probably the best round of golf I have played, at least this year.”
“It’s definitely made me realise that I can still play. Although the results that I have had the last two years haven’t been spectacular by any means, it’s nice to get out there and actually play a decent tournament and have a decent finish.”
Lyle arrived at The Brisbane Golf Club for the Queensland Open full of confidence for what lays ahead of him this summer.
“This week has that feeling that it’s going to be another windy week like it was in Fiji,” added Lyle.
“It’s going to be a pretty busy summer with all the tournaments that we have coming up. It would be nice to carry on that form from Fiji and roll it into this week and then the NSW Open and hopefully the Aussie Open and PGA as well.”
Lonard eyeing senior tour
Lonard played on the Web.com Tour this year and is still has back issues but at 48 is eyeing off the US Champions Tour.
“I’m still keen and enjoy playing tournament golf, but it can be difficult because of a recurring back injury,’’ Lonard told Bernie Pramberg from the Brisbane Courier Mail.
“I used to be a bloke who would practise all day, but now I spend more time managing my back.
“It’s not an excuse … just the way it is these days. Hopefully, I can continue playing as much as I can to get ready for a crack at the seniors.’’
Lonard has three Australian PGA Championship wins in Queensland among his 10 career victories and is looking forward to playing in Brisbane.
“I’m pretty happy the way I am hitting the ball, but will need to hole some putts to score well at Brisbane,’’ he said.
“Hopefully, I might surprise a few people.’’
See Pramberg’s full feature story on the knockabout Lonard here
The Isuzu Queensland Open will be played at The Brisbane Golf Club from 20-23 October 2016
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