Jarrod Lyle has leukemia recurrence

Right when his life couldn’t be any better, Jarrod Lyle suffered

a recurrence of leukemia upon returning home to Australia to

prepare for the birth of his first child.

Robert Allenby, who supports a cancer program that once had Lyle

as a patient, said he received word Thursday morning that Lyle was

going to start chemotherapy as soon as his wife gave birth.

”If he starts chemo now, he won’t be able to touch the baby or

watch the birth,” Allenby said. ”They’re inducing her today, and

she has the baby, he goes straight into treatments. It’s just

devastating.”

Lyle was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia at age 17. He not

only recovered, he went on to earn his PGA Tour card. He thought

the chemotherapy from his teen years would make him infertile, and

was thrilled to learn his wife, Briony, was pregnant.

”He just got his whole life where he wants,” said Allenby, who

has been exchanging text messages with Lyle throughout the day.

”He’s married, he has a new baby coming, he’s playing great golf.

And now this. It’s the same cancer that’s come back, the same

leukemia.”

Lyle matched his best finish on the PGA Tour three weeks ago at

Riviera, where he missed a playoff by two shots and tied for fifth.

He went to Mexico and tied for 37th.

Perhaps his greatest fame in America came last year in the

Phoenix Open, when he made an ace on the raucous par-3 16th hole at

the TPC Scottsdale.

Allenby saw him last week in south Florida.

”I said to him, `What’s wrong with you? You don’t look good,”’

Allenby said. ”He said he thought he was bitten last week in

Mexico. His left arm was tight and sore in the vein, like he had a

virus. I said, `You should go home and get checked out, especially

coming from where you’ve been.’ He was going to go home because his

wife was due in two weeks. It’s just terrible.”

Allenby rarely goes on Twitter, but put out a tweet on Thursday

to spread the word.

Allenby first met Lyle in the ”Challenge a Cancer” network in

Australia, when Lyle was 17 and had just been diagnosed. Lyle

mentioned his affinity for golf – he was about a 2 handicap at the

time – and recalled getting Allenby’s autograph at Victoria Golf

Club one year.

Lyle not only recovered, but seven years later he played in his

first British Open, sharing a practice round at Royal Liverpool

with Allenby. He first reached the PGA Tour in 2007, and made it

back each of the last three years.

Allenby said he heard of Lyle’s relapse through Dave Rogers, the

CEO of the ”Challenge” support network.

”We keep a close eye on Jarrod. He’s kind of like our No. 1

with the success he’s had to get where he is,” Allenby said. ”Now

to go through it again, it’s devastating.”