Alamanac Golf: Jarrod Lyle. He is a winner, and an inspiration.



This week won’t be the normal column.


It seems somewhat irrelevant to run through the usual breadth of golf from across the world on the top tours after the very sad news about Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle. As I write his family has announced in the last 20 hours that the two-time winner on the second-tier tour to the PGA Tour has been placed in palliative care.


Notes I’ve saved on my phone about wins in the last week for Ariya Jutanugarn, Dustin Johnson, Richard McEvoy and Justin Harding are gone because, well, it doesn’t really seem to matter after the sad news which Lyle’s family confirmed after his third bout of acute myeloid leukaemia.


Prior to the Open I noted qualifier Ash Turner, who acquired a rare form of cerebral palsy following an accident as a child, was a great story about overcoming adversity. This week just gone in Germany at the European Open in Hamburg Allen John fired a closing round of 67 to finish second to McEvoy. John was close to a multi-player playoff if not for McEvoy’s late birdie. John, who is German and was playing on a sponsor’s invite is profoundly deaf. He has relied on hearing aids since the age of two and has only 5 per cent of his natural hearing. Stories like this are incredibly uplifting in showing golf can be inclusive and diverse.


The Lyle news is just crushing after the great stories about Turner and John.


It’s probably not worth much but instead of knocking up some thoughts for the Ladies British Open at Lytham & St Anne’s in Lancashire, and given it’s Donate Life Week in Australia, people may want to join the donation register.


Specifically related to Lyle the Victorian is an ambassador for Challenge, an organisation which provides support for children and their families living with cancer of a life-threatening blood disorder.


Jarrod Lyle is 36. There is a good chance I picked up a golf club before he did and Wednesday’s news seems so very wrong.


This post first appeared on From the sideline of sport


About Hamish Neal

Born in Lower Hutt New Zealand Hamish is forever wedded to all things All Black, All Whites, Tall Blacks and more. Writing more nowadays in his 'spare time' (what is that anyway?) but still with a passion for broadcasting. Has worked in various sports development roles in England, Northern Ireland and Australia.


  1. Well said Hamish. Such cruel news. As a golfer I wonder what he might have become with half a deal of health throughout his playing career which was twice disrupted by leukaemia relapses. As a person he left nothing on the table with his relentless spirit and generosity.
    “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.” Helen Keller.

  2. E.regnans says

    Good one Hamish.
    Perspective is such an interesting thing.

    The most difficult of times for J Lyle, friends and family.
    Go well.

  3. Peter warrington says

    Thanks Hamish. We’ve been over on the Guardian talking about the sadness that comes with this, especially because of his tenacity.

    I thought the words from his wife in the written statement were incredible. Somehow navigating the need to know and the need to acknowledge sadness and pain, and balancing this with the optimism, maybe the realism, that even in a short window, there is still life, and chances to make that better for everyone involved (there will be time – years – to grieve.)

    His struggles simply contrast with the sheer exhilaration of my own life right now, and it just seems so unfair.

    Note to self: it’s never a bad time to remind yourself how lucky you are. Thanks for the Keller quote PB, hadn’t heard that one. I want to cry.

    Stay well, all.

  4. Hamish my brother in law died of myeloid leukaemia so this brings back some memories and also re women’s British open our family were great friends of the late,Fiona Pike v well written thank you

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