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Mark Ryan Lye (born November 13, 1952) is an American professional golfer who has played on the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour.

Mark Lye
Personal information
Full nameMark Ryan Lye
Born (1952-11-13) November 13, 1952 (age 66)
Vallejo, California
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight195 lb (88 kg; 13.9 st)
Nationality United States
ResidenceNaples, Florida
CollegeSan Jose State University
Turned professional1975
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Champions Tour
PGA Tour of Australia
Professional wins2
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour1
PGA Tour of Australasia1
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentT6: 1984
PGA ChampionshipT36: 1986
U.S. OpenT13: 1989
The Open ChampionshipCUT: 1977


Early LifeEdit

Lye was born in Vallejo, California. He attended San Jose State University, where he was a three-time All-American as a member of the golf team. He graduated in 1975 and turned pro later that year.

Professional careerEdit

Before Lye joined the PGA Tour he played in Australia. He won the Australian Tour's 1976 Colgate Champion of Champions by one stroke over New Zealand's Simon Owen and two over crowd favorite Kel Nagle. Lye did not even expect to stay in Australia after he failed to qualify for that year's Australian Open. A friend encouraged him to remain and play in the Melbourne event. After he won Lye exclaimed, "My God, I don't know what to say. I'm more surprised than all of you people." After a decent start (70-71) he was three under and easily made the cut but was still six shots behind Nagle. Lye then played excellently over the weekend, shooting 68-67 to overcome his competitors. He defeated an elite field that included, in addition to Owen and Nagle, 1975 U.S. Open champion Lou Graham, 1975 Open Championship winner Tom Watson, and recent Australian Tour champion Greg Norman.[1] Lye would ultimately win the 1976 PGA Tour of Australia Order of Merit.

Lye joined the PGA Tour in 1977. He was a full-time member of tour from 1977 to 1991.[2] Lye's first solid season on tour came in 1980. He finished 39th on the money list[3] and recorded two runner-up finishes.[2] Three years later, in 1983, would be his best season. In September he recorded his lone victory on the PGA Tour at the Bank of Boston Classic. Lye went under the radar for most of the final round; he was eight shots behind in a tie for 16th when the round started. He did not hold even a share of the lead until the 69th hole of the tournament. However, he started the final round well and then birdied 3 of the final 4 holes for a 64 (−7) to squeak out a one shot win.[4] Later in the fall, at the last event, he recorded a runner-up finish at the Pensacola Open. He recorded six top-10s in total for 1983, his most ever,[2] and finished 28th on the money list, his best ever.[5]

Lye's win qualified him for the 1984 Masters Tournament. His career may be best known for his debut performance at the event. Lye shot a solid first round 69 (−3) and then surged to a three shot lead after a 66. He fell back a little after a third round 73 but was still in second place, one behind Tom Kite. The final round was an erratic one for Lye. He birdied the first hole but then bogeyed the third hole and double-bogeyed the 5th. He closed with birdies at 8 and 9, however, to complete the front nine where he started at −8. This brief good play quickly ended with bogeys at 10 and 11. He would par out from there for a 74 and T-6. It would easily be his best finish in a major championship.

Lye would record an additional four top-10s in 1984 and finish a respectable 43rd on the money list.[6] He would not improve on those performances again, however. For another decade or so Lye would maintain full-time status but never perform with the same consistency.[2]

In 1995, at the age of 43, Lye tore a ligament in his right hand at the FedEx St. Jude Classic and had to retire from tour. He then began working as an analyst for The Golf Channel eventually rising to lead analyst for men's tournament coverage. After reaching the age of 50 in November 2002, Lye joined the Champions Tour as a part-time player. His best finish in that venue is a solo 9th at the 2004 Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn.[2] To accommodate this new phase in his life, Lye transitioned to on-course reporter in order to compete in select Champions Tour events.

Personal lifeEdit

Lye has had an interesting personal life for a professional golfer. He plays guitar, in particular blues guitar,[7] and has played with a member of Eric Clapton's band.[8] Late in his career he formed Jake Trout and the Flounders, a cover band with fellow professional golfers Payne Stewart and Peter Jacobsen.[9] He also made a cameo in the 1996 golf-comedy film Happy Gilmore that starred Adam Sandler.

Lye is diabetic and has had additional health issues.[8] Lye has battled malignant melanoma. He first discovered a dime-sized mole on his left knee in 1991 and had surgery to remove it. He was cancer free for more than five years; however, in 2002, a small growth on his left thigh was discovered. He had surgery and other aggressive treatments for this recurrence and remains under a doctor's care.[2]

Influenced by his cancer diagnosis he became a born-again Christian.[10]

Lye lives in Naples, Florida. He is married to Lisa and has two children, Lucas and Eva.[11]

Lye was inducted into the California Golf Writers Hall of Fame in February 2007.[12]

Professional winsEdit

PGA Tour wins (1)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of victory Runners-up
1 Sep 11, 1983 Bank of Boston Classic −11 (69-69-71-64=273) 1 stroke   John Mahaffey,   Sammy Rachels,   Jim Thorpe

PGA Tour of Australia wins (1)Edit

Results in major championshipsEdit

Tournament 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open
The Open Championship CUT
PGA Championship
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Masters Tournament T6 T36
U.S. Open T25 69 CUT T45 CUT T36 T13
The Open Championship
PGA Championship CUT T56 T67 T63 T54 T47 T36
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994
Masters Tournament T39
The Open Championship
PGA Championship WD
  Top 10
  Did not play

WD = withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place


  1. ^ Stone, Peter (November 15, 1976). "Lye Downs Them". The Age. p. 36.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Mark Lye – Profile". PGA Tour. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  3. ^ "Money List – 1980". PGA Tour.
  4. ^ "Lye Makes up 8 Shots for First Victory". The New York Times. Associated Press. September 12, 1983. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  5. ^ "Money List – 1983". PGA Tour.
  6. ^ "Money List – 1984". PGA Tour.
  7. ^ Moffit, David (April 13, 1984). "Mark Lye was so excited he was having trouble..." UPI. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Jenkins, Dan (April 23, 1984). "A Breakthrough For The Heartbreak Kid". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  9. ^ "Meet The Rock & Roll Stars Of Golf". CBS News. April 22, 1998. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  10. ^ Roach, David (December 24, 2003). "New Birth: Battling cancer, professional golfer finds true success in Christ". Baptist Press. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  11. ^ "At Home With Mark and Lisa Lye". Fine Magazine. September 4, 2014. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  12. ^ "Biographical information from The Golf Channel's On Air Talent page". Golf Channel.

External linksEdit