‘Fighter’ Lyle in awe of support
JARROD Lyle has spoken of his appreciation for the flood of support that has buoyed him on his long fight with cancer.
A day after it was confirmed the popular Victorian golfer had ceased active treatment on his third battle with cancer and entered palliative care, a recording of Lyle speaking on Tuesday was published on Golf Australia's Inside the Ropes podcast.
"I feel like I am the luckiest golfer going around because so many people took an interest in me and took an interest in, I guess, my fight," he said.
"To have so many friends around the world, whether they're spectators, whether they're golfers … to have that kind of support to go to every tournament is a great feeling.
"It is going to be hard to leave that behind. 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.
"To have the support from all those people, it is just a tremendous feeling.
"It is going to be hard but at some point, it is going to happen. They will get on with their lives. I just feel very, very lucky."
Lyle earned sport-wide tributes on Wednesday, with golf's good guy lauded for his fighting qualities.
All four major golf tours, and players from Adam Scott to Ernie Els, lauded Lyle for the determination that helped him beat cancer twice and make a mark on the sport around the world.
At the Fiji International at Natadola Bay, starting Thursday, where Lyle played in 2016, golfers will wear "Leuk the Duck" badges, the mascot of the Challenge cancer charity, in support of him and his family.
Robert Allenby, a long-time friend and fellow ambassador for Challenge, who together helped raise millions of dollars, said Lyle had inspired people beyond the game of golf.
"He is a golfing icon because of the character he has shown to the world," Allenby told PGATOUR.com.
"You'll never meet a bigger fighter. I'm not sure anyone could have fought as hard as he has. I know I wouldn't have had that willpower."
Adam Scott said the father of two was one of the "best blokes there is".
"Given all the difficulties he's had since his late teens, he has lived the best life he could with the tough cards he has been dealt," Scott said.
"His positivity and general demeanour have been so good and so infectious on others; it's a good way to think of how I should live my life."
Jason Day said everyone "loved" Lyle. "He's such a good bloke," he said. "It's not fair he's going through this."