Cancer-stricken Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle thanked friends and fans in an emotional message Thursday after deciding to halt his treatment for leukaemia, saying he was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.
The 36-year-old former US PGA Tour player moved into palliative care this week to see out his final days, with his body not able “to take anymore” after acute myeloid leukaemia returned for a third time.
His plight has seen goodwill messages from across the globe, including from fans, players and even movie superstar Dwayne Johnson.
“I feel like I’m the luckiest golfer going around because so many people took an interest in me and took an interest in, I guess, my fight,” Lyle, breathing heavily, said in an audio clip on Inside The Ropes.
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.
“They know that all the fighting that I did do was to get back out and play golf again.”
Lyle, who has two young children, overcame leukaemia 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. But his health deteriorated again in recent months.
“It’s going to be hard but, at some point, it’s going to happen and they’ll get on with their lives,” he said of his family and friends. “I just feel very, very lucky.”
Lyle joined the PGA Tour in 2007 and managed a handful of top-10 finishes.
Golfers around the world have paid tribute, with Australian great Greg Norman on Thursday saying he was “absolutely devastated”.
“Jarrod — you have exemplified strength and courage for your wife and beautiful daughters, for Australia and for the golf community that has walked this road with you for many years,” he tweeted.
“The world will be less without you. Godspeed my friend.”