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.