Jarrod Lyle expects tears to flow in Masters



It’s one water hazard most golfers will never face – a stream of tears on the first tee.

But cancer survivor Jarrod Lyle predicts it will be his toughest moment of this week’s Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne.

It’s the 32-year-old’s first professional tournament for 20 months, after fighting off acute myeloid leukaemia for the second time.

Physically Lyle is now in reasonable condition, although he’s lost some of his strength.

His golf is back to a standard which has him hopeful of making the cut, even though he’s still well off his best.

But emotionally, he’s not sure how he’ll hold up.

“I guarantee you I’ll be crying walking to the first tee, I’m nearly crying now thinking about it,” Lyle told reporters on Tuesday.

“Just walking to that first tee and teeing the ball up and trying to hit it – that’s probably going to be the hardest thing.

“It’s just going to let a whole lot of stuff out.

“Hopefully when that ball flies I can just get on to playing golf and put everything behind me and just get back to the golfer that I am.”

Lyle’s first fight with cancer came as a 17-year-old.

He was diagnosed a second time in March last year and was affected even more severely.

The emotional effect was heightened by the fact that the diagnosis came just before the birth of his daughter Lusi, itself a remarkable event given Lyle doubted he would have children after his initial treatment.

He spent just 12 hours with his daughter before beginning treatment.

Lyle’s wife Briony and Lusi will be among a huge band of friends and family on course supporting him this week and he says just having his daughter to hug will make him feel like a winner, regardless of how he plays.

Many of his supporters will be wearing specially designed yellow shirts and hats, part of a cancer charity fundraiser, one of many shows of support Lyle has received, including from golfers around the world.

“I’m going to dedicate this first tee shot to everybody that’s done that over the years or over the last 20 months, that’s got in contact with us and given us support,” he said.

Lyle has a medical exemption to return to the US PGA Tour when he feels ready, but doesn’t expect that to be next year.

He will take time out after this week’s tournament to plot the next step in his comeback.

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