Immensely sad news for the sporting world this morning, with the confirmation that widely beloved and supremely inspirational Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle passed away last night, surrounded by family, at the age of 36.
Both Golf Australia and the PGA Tour confirmed Lyle passed away at 8:20pm last night in Torquay, where he had spent the past week and a bit with family and friends.
Lyle had been battling cancer for the third time in his life, having first been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in 1997 at the age of 17. A promising amateur golfer at the time, Lyle managed to overcome the disease by the age of 19, and subsequently went on to not only return to the golf course, but quickly reduce his handicap to scratch and secure a scholarship at the Victorian Institute of Sport.
By 2007, he had turned pro, competed on the Asian tour, and punched himself a ticket on the prestigious and lucrative US PGA Tour.
Following a relapse of his leukaemia in 2012, which he fought off again, Lyle made a return to the pro-circuit at the 2013 Australian Masters, before ultimately re-joining the US PGA in 2015.
It was following treatment for a cough in 2017, however, that doctors discover the cancer had returned for a third time.
On July 31st, his wife Briony posted a final photo to his always-active Instagram page, stating Jarrod would be ceasing active treatment for his illness and would be entering palliative care.
Briony issued a statement via Golf Australia confirming his passing, where she thanked everyone for their care and well wishes.
It breaks my heart to tell everyone that Jarrod is no longer with us. He passed away peacefully at 8.20pm last night, having spent his final week in Torquay among his family and close 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. At the same time, we have been blessed and overwhelmed with the messages and actions of support from around the world and feel comforted that Jarrod was able to happily impact so many people throughout his life. Our humble thanks to you all.
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.
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.”
Close friend and fellow pro Robert Allenby paid tribute to Lyle, who he has known for nearly 20 years, in a moving tribute on The Player’s Voice last week.
In life, you don’t have too many top quality friends – ones you can trust, ones you can call upon. You can count them on one hand. Jarrod’s on that hand for me. There’s a bond and a trust that I will cherish forever. I love him like a brother and count myself fortunate that I have had him in my life for this long.
He’s a top bloke and an inspiration to millions. He is loved and admired all around the world. I hope he is pain-free and at peace. He is, and will always be, my hero.
Rest in peace, Jarrod Lyle.Image: Getty Images / Chris Hyde