Jarrod Lyle's Inspirational Story Capped by Return to Australian Masters 2013

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 15, 2013

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 14:  Jarrod Lyle of Australia hugs wife Briony Lyle after the 18th hole during round one of the 2013 Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne Golf Course on November 14, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Jarrod Lyle has already beaten cancer. Like something as small as the cut at the 2013 Australian Masters was going to stand in his way.

Every once in a while, you hear that story that makes you believe in sports again.

Between the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin affair and the Atlanta Braves forcing Cobb County to pay $450 million for a new stadium, sometimes it's hard to wonder why you ever became a sports fan in the first place.

Then you see Lyle's return to golf after his battle with acute myeloid leukemia, and it makes everything worthwhile again.

The 32-year-old was diagnosed with cancer for the second time back in March 2012, per the Associated Press via Golf.com. Like the first time, he was able to beat the disease.

As if that wasn't enough, Lyle made a strong enough recovery that he received medical clearance from doctors to return at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

After what was a solid first round, Lyle still had some work to do if he was going to make the cut in the second round.

Things weren't looking good after he bogeyed the seventh, eighth and ninth holes to negate a birdie on No. 2. Then came the bogey on No. 12. However, Lyle birdied Nos. 14 and 15 in order to remain in the fold for the next two rounds.

Golfweek magazine captured a great image of Lyle during the second round.

As you could expect, Lyle was thankful after the round.

He also put the whole situation in perspective, via Bruce Matthews of the Herald Sun:

Twelve months ago at this exact tournament, I was saying I didn't know whether I would ever play golf again. To stand up on the first tee and hit that first shot and see what has happened over the last 20 months with my life and my wife's life and my daughter's life, everything was there and it was, I guess, just a happy place I was in at the time. Just glad to get that first one away.

Lyle even has an answer for those wondering if he'll be able to make it through the weekend, via Rex Hoggard of GolfChannel.com.

In the grand scheme of things, his performance over the weekend will likely be a footnote to the rest of the story. Lyle's toughest battle was already won. It's enough that he's in the clear regarding his cancer. The fact that he can golf again is the cherry on top, and everything after this is a bonus.

As a result, he serves as a shining beacon of hope for anybody afflicted with acute myeloid leukemia or any sort of cancer for that matter. Patients can look to Lyle and see somebody who's not only recovered, but he's been able to return to the same life he had before being diagnosed. He's risen above it all to play the sport he loves the most.

It doesn't get much better than this.