By Russell Hope, news reporter
The golfing world has been paying tribute to Jarrod Lyle, the Australian player who died on Wednesday aged 36 from cancer.
Lyle, known for his contagious smile and sense of humour, died at his home near Melbourne among family and close friends a week after he chose to enter palliative care, rather than have further treatment for acute myeloid leukemia.
He is survived by his wife Briony and two daughters, Lusi and Jemma.
Briony said in a statement released by Golf Australia: “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.'”
“Lusi and 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,” she added.
Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend Jarrod Lyle. Jarrod will forever be an inspiration to us alI. Ellie, Dash, Lucy and I send condolences to Briony, Lusi and Jemma. Rest easy mate. We will miss you.
— Jason Day (@JDayGolf) August 9, 2018
Jason Day, one of several Australian golfers to wear yellow ribbons in honour of one of Lyle’s favourite colours for clothing, said he was “deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend Jarrod Lyle. Jarrod will forever be an inspiration to us alI. Ellie, Dash, Lucy and I send condolences to Briony, Lusi and Jemma. Rest easy mate. We will miss you.”
Incredibly sad news about Jarrod Lyle. Tough times for everyone on tour losing someone so special but I cannot imagine what he and his family went and are going through. RIP
— Francesco Molinari (@F_Molinari) August 8, 2018
The new Open champion Francesco Molinari tweeted: “Incredibly sad news about Jarrod Lyle. Tough times for everyone on tour losing someone so special but I cannot imagine what he and his family went and are going through. RIP.”
Saddest day ever 😢kinda lost for words,Jarrod Lyle was the greatest bloke you’ll ever meet, not once in 20 years did I ever here him complain❤️🙏R.I.P Jarrod (best mate)❤️❤️🙏
— Robert Allenby (@aussieallenby) August 9, 2018
Lyle’s fellow Australian, Robert Allenby, called him “the greatest bloke,” tweeting: “Saddest day ever kinda lost for words, Jarrod Lyle was the greatest bloke you’ll ever meet, not once in 20 years did I ever here him complain. RIP Jarrod (best mate).”
English golfer Justin Rose tweeted: “Such a sad day, we will all miss you so much Jarrod. Thinking of his family at this time. #RIPJarrod”
Lyle had already overcome leukemia before he turned professional in 2004 but the disease returned in 2012, forcing him to miss 20 months of competitive golf, before he made a second comeback.
Lyle underwent a bone marrow transplant last December after the disease again returned, but last week said he had “reached his limit” and decided not to continue with treatment.
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With @PGAChampionship underway, hearts are heavy after loss of courageous Jarrod Lyle. Cancer doesn't discriminate & Jarrod, 36, was too young to see his life cut short & his family left devastated. Barbara & I send heartfelt prayers to wife Briony & little girls Lusi & Jemma. 🙏
— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) August 9, 2018
A private family service will be held in the coming days with a public memorial service in Torquay, near Melbourne, at a later date.
Golf Australia paid respects with a video and said the game “has lost one of its greatest characters.”