MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Golfers from around the world paid tribute to Jarrod Lyle on Thursday after the Australian’s family announced his death at the age of 36 following a long battle with cancer.
Lyle, who had two wins on the feeder Web.com tour in 2008 and played 121 U.S. PGA Tour tournaments, was diagnosed with leukemia as a teenager and suffered a relapse in 2012.
He had a bone marrow transplant last year but the illness returned and he 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 on Thursday.
“He passed away peacefully ... 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.”
She added that her husband 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,” the golfer had said.
“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’s decision to end treatment last week prompted an outpouring of support for his family and the foundation.
World number two Justin Thomas dedicated his WGC tournament victory last week to Lyle, while Bryson DeChambeau, who won the long drive competition in the buildup to this week’s PGA Championship, donated the $25,000 prize to Lyle’s family.
“We are very sad to hear of Jarrod Lyle’s passing,” South African golfer Ernie Els said on Twitter.
“He fought a good fight and will be forever remembered for his courage, strength, perseverance and the light he brought to all of our lives.
“The world lost a good man.”
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ed Osmond/Peter Rutherford