Fri, Aug 10, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle dies at 36 from cancer


Tributes yesterday flowed for Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle after he lost his battle with cancer, dying aged 36 after halting treatment for leukemia last week.

“It breaks my heart to tell everyone that Jarrod is no longer with us,” his wife, Briony, said in a statement.

The former PGA Tour player, whose children are aged two and six, passed away on Wednesday evening at his home outside Melbourne, surrounded by family and friends.

“Lusi, Jemma and I are filled with grief and now must confront our lives without the greatest husband and father we could ever have wished for,” Briony said.

Lyle on Wednesday last week moved into palliative care to see out his final days, saying that his body could not “take anymore” after acute myeloid leukemia returned for a third time.

His plight touched people around the world and his wife said the messages of support comforted him as his life drew to a close.

“Jarrod was able to take in many of the unbelievably kind and generous acts and words in his final few days and was overwhelmed by the emotional outpouring,” she said.

“He asked that I provide a simple message: ‘Thanks for your support, it meant the world. My time was short, but if I’ve helped people think and act on behalf of those families who suffer through cancer, hopefully it wasn’t wasted,’” she added.

Lyle, who joined the PGA Tour in 2007 and managed a handful of top-10 finishes, overcame leukemia as a 17-year-old before suffering a recurrence in 2012. He won that battle and made his return to professional golf at the Australian Masters in November 2013.

However, his health began to deteriorate again in the past few months.

In an emotional audio message late last week, Lyle said that he felt like “the luckiest golfer going around, because so many people took an interest in me and took an interest in, I guess, my fight.”

He thanked his many “friends around the world, whether they’re spectators, whether they’re golfers, whether they’re marshals.”

“It’s going to be hard to leave that behind, but they know that I love them,” Lyle said, breathing heavily. “They know that all the fighting that I did do was to get back out and play golf again.”

The European Tour was among many to pay tribute yesterday.

“Full of joy and determination, on and off the course. This is how we’ll remember Jarrod,” it said.

World No. 3 Justin Rose said: “Such a sad day, we will all miss you so much Jarrod. Thinking of his family at this time.”

Fellow Australian and former world No. 1 Jason Day said that Lyle would “forever be an inspiration.”

“Rest easy mate. We will miss you,” Day added, while The Open champion Francesco Molinari said it was “tough times for everyone on tour losing someone so special.”

“The courage shown through his battle is an inspiration to all of us. He made the world a better place. RIP [rest in peace] mate,” four-time major winner Rory McIlroy said on Twitter.

South African star Ernie Els said that “the world has lost a good man.”

Australian golfer Greg Chalmers was devastated.

“It is through a river of tears I say goodbye to my friend Jarrod Lyle. A wonderful father, friend and golfer. Quick with a joke, didn’t mind a beer, and just a pure joy to be around every day. Miss you mate. RIP,” he said.

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