Tributes flow for Aussie golfer Lyle

Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle has died at the age of 36 after a long battle with leukaemia.
Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle has died at the age of 36 after a long battle with leukaemia.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MELBOURNE • Golfers from around the world paid tribute to Jarrod Lyle yesterday after his family announced the 36-year-old's death following a long battle with cancer.

Lyle, who had two wins on the feeder Web.com Tour in 2008 and played 121 PGA Tour tournaments, was diagnosed with leukaemia as a teenager and suffered a relapse in 2012. He had a bone marrow transplant last year, but the illness returned and the Australian chose to halt all treatment last week.

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

"He passed away peacefully last night having spent his final week among his family and close friends."

She added that Lyle had managed to pass on a final message to those who had supported him throughout his career and through his work as an ambassador with the Challenge Foundation, which helps support children with cancer.

"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," Lyle said in a statement.

His decision to end treatment last week prompted an outpouring of support from his golfing counterparts.

World No. 2 Justin Thomas dedicated his WGC-Bridgestone Invitational tournament victory last week to him, and fellow American Bryson DeChambeau, who won the long drive competition in the build-up to this week's PGA Championship, donated the US$25,000 (S$34,000) prize to Lyle's family.

The European Tour was among many to honour his memory.

"Full of joy and determination, on and off the course. This is how we'll remember Jarrod," it said in a statement.

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

British Open champion Francesco Molinari of Italy said it was "tough times for everyone on Tour, losing someone so special".

Four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland tweeted: "The courage shown through his battle is an inspiration to all of us. He made the world a better place. RIP mate."

South Africa's Ernie Els said "the world has lost a good man" while fellow Australian golfers Greg Chalmers and Jason Day also expressed their devastation at his untimely death. Day said that Lyle would "forever be an inspiration".

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2018, with the headline 'Tributes flow for Aussie golfer Lyle'. Print Edition | Subscribe