Golf Roundup: Lyle, fighting leukemia, seeks bone marrow donor

Tom LaMarre, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Jarrod Lyle, who left the PGA Tour in March and went home to Australia, where he was diagnosed with leukemia for the second time, has gone through two rounds of chemotherapy.
If all goes well, he will undergo a bone marrow transplant next month. Doctors have been searching for a suitable bone marrow donor.
"I am going to fight my absolute hardest to be there for all of life's little moments," said the 30-year-old Lyle, whose tie for fourth this season in the Northern Trust Open is his best finish on the PGA Tour. "That's where I'm getting my strength, and that helps me know I can beat this.
"I'm doing all right. ... It's one of those situations where you've got to get a lot worse before you get better. I'm just taking it day by day."
Lyle, who beat leukemia as a teenager, learned he had been stricken again only days before his wife, Briony, gave birth to their first child, Lusi.
While he has had to leave his hometown of Shepparton and travel to Melbourne for treatment and cannot hold Lusi while he is undergoing chemotherapy, the family has been able to get together for occasional visits.
"I fed her earlier for the first time and am trying to reacquaint myself as her father," Lyle said. "It certainly helps to see them."
Players and caddies on the PGA Tour are wearing badges featuring "Leuk the Duck," the mascot for Challenge in the fight against leukemia, in support of Lyle.
--Captain Jose Maria Olazabal of the European team said he plans to have only two vice captains for the 39th Ryder Cup matches in September at Medinah, near Chicago.
U.S. captain Davis Love III is expected to have four vice captains in his camp.
"It's a lot of headaches if you have more than two," Olazabal said.
Paul McGinley of Ireland is expected to be one of Olazabal's assistants after the Spaniard said recently that he liked the way McGinley handled his teams while twice winning the Seve Trophy competition, held in non-Ryder Cup years.
Olazabal also said he is concerned about the form of Padraig Harrington of Ireland, a three-time major champion and Euro stalwart in the Ryder Cup, who has not won in nearly three years on the two major tours.
"For players like Harrington, the ball is still in his court," Olazabal said.
Olazabal, who combined with the late Seve Ballesteros for a nearly unbeatable team in the Ryder Cup, said there will be some sort of memorial at the matches for his friend, who died last year from a brain tumor.
"Somehow the memory of Seve must be there," said Olazabal, a two-time Masters champion. "We are thinking of the best way to do it. Seve has been a prominent figure for European golf and especially for the Ryder Cup.
"We will find a way to infuse his great fighting spirit. He made us believe we could beat the Americans."
The Ryder Cup is scheduled for Sept. 28-30.
--Fred Couples withdrew before the start of the Players Championship last week because of an illness.
The 52-year-old Couples, a two-time winner of the so-called Fifth Major, was eligible to play in the PGA Tour event because he captured the 2011 Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship.
Since he was an addition to the 144-man field, he was not be replaced.
Couples' management team informed tournament officials that he would not play without giving a reason, but he missed the Insperity Championship on the Champions Tour the previous week because of the flu.
He normally would have played the event at the Woodlands, Texas, because he is popular in the area, having attended the University of Houston.
Couples, who won the Players in 1984 and 1996, would have made his 27th start in the tournament. He has shown he still can compete with the younger players -- he shared the 36-hole lead in the Masters this year with Jason Dufner before finishing in a tie for 12th.
--Warren Buffett, a member of Augusta National Golf Club, stepped squarely into a controversy surrounding the club when he said in an interview that he would allow women members if he were in charge.
Augusta National, which is host to the Masters, has been under fire for years because of its men-only policy.
"I'm not telling the group at Augusta what to do, but if I were running the club, I'd have plenty of women," the 81-year-old Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.
The issue was in the news again this year when IBM promoted Virginia "Ginni" Rometty to chief executive officer. Augusta National historically invites the CEO of IBM to be a member, including the four previous chief executives.
Rometty has not been invited to join.
"I might prefer having female members, but I'm not on the committee" that nominates prospective members, said Buffett, who said that he knew of the policy when he joined the club and does not play to resign over it.
--David Toms couldn't wait to get back to TPC Sawgrass last week, and not only because he wanted another shot at the title that eluded him last year in a playoff against K.J. Choi.
Toms, and all of the avid fishermen on the PGA Tour, enjoy TPC Sawgrass because it has some of the best fishing holes on the circuit.
After Toms finished practicing on the Monday before the tournament, he and caddie Scott Gneiser grabbed their fishing poles and headed out across the property.
They settled in near the bridge on the 10th hole of Pete Dye's Valley Course.
"I caught two or three nice bass already, and I've only been here less than an hour," Toms told said. "They were small and nothing I really would want to eat. But we're having a lot of fun."
Gneiser had a scouting report, so he had Toms move to the other side of the bridge.
"I heard that Mike Weir's caddy pulled about a 9-pound bass out of this spot a few years ago," Gneiser explained.

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