November 13, 2013: Titleist Brand Ambassador Jarrod Lyle has dedicated the first tee shot of his comeback to everyone who has provided him with support during his fight with cancer.
That's some dedication. Lyle has been contacted by people from across the globe, all offering their prayers and best wishes.
And the good vibes have been flowing all week as he fine-tunes his preparations for his return at the Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
"I actually found it difficult on the putting green with people walking past that I have known forever and ... the next thing you know I am talking for five minutes and realising I am not doing any practice," said Lyle.
It wasn't just friends and family either. Since the day he was diagnosed almost 20 months ago, Lyle's fellow professionals have been paying tribute to his fighting qualities, which helped him beat acute myeloid leukaemia for the second time.
"I think it's great that he is healthy again," said Titleist Brand Ambassador Marc Leishman, who played junior golf with Lyle before both attended the Victorian Institute of Sport. "It's an awesome place for him to come back. It's just great to have him healthy again.
Lyle's wife, Briony, and daughter, Lusi - the inspirations behind his fight - stood at the back of the interview room Tuesday as he faced the media for the last time before he takes to the course.
It will be an emotional moment when Lyle walks to the first tee on Thursday, and the Victorian admitted he would be "no chance of keeping it together" when he sees the big gallery that is sure to await him. Lyle, will play alongside fellow Titleist Brand Ambassadors Geoff Ogilvy and Brendon De Jonge in the opening two rounds of the tournament.
"I'll be crying walking on to the tee, I'll be crying when I hit the shot, and I'll probably be crying walking off the tee," said Lyle.
"I'll be a mess, but it will be a good mess."
Lyle said he was aware that his battle to return to the course had been a source of inspiration for others fighting serious illnesses, although he admitted to that being a "weird" feeling.
"I struggle with that tag, I don't look at myself as an inspiration. I look at myself as a fighter," he said "If I didn't fight, then I probably wouldn't be here."
And his final message to Team Titliest fans.
"Everyday I'm getting closer to coming back, so look out!"
To commemorate Jarrod’s return, Titleist has produced a specially embroidered cap with Lyle's name and the symbol of the cancer charity close to his heart - Challenge – that will be sold at Royal Melbourne to benefit Challenge - supporting children with cancer.
Team Titleist has 4 of these special caps, personally signed by Jarrod, to give to the best post comments that we receive below.
Welcome back Jarrod!
Jarrod Lyle supports Challenge
Challenge brings colour and relief to the lives of children and families living with cancer as they face the pressures of a life-threatening illness. With an emphasis on ‘fun’, Challenge provide a range of practical services and therapies and a program of tailored experiences that remind them how good life can be.
Challenge are based at Challenge House in West Melbourne. Within Challenge House is the Challenge Family Centre, which delivers a range of essential non-medical services for families including, massage therapy, music therapy and playgroup. Additional services to be available soon include a resource library, information seminars, counselling and art therapy.
Challenge also provides regular camps and activity days, tickets to concerts and events, overseas trips, family holidays, parent retreats and home help as well as support to children undergoing treatment in hospital with iPads, gaming consoles, family activities and celebrity visits.
To learn more click here to visit the Challenge website