Robert Allenby has penned a touching tribute to his friend and fellow Australian golfer Jarrod Lyle.
Lyle's family announced earlier this week that he will not seek further treatment in his long fight against leukemia and will receive palliative care at home.
The 36-year-old Lyle, who won twice on the Nationwide Tour in 2008, was first diagnosed with leukemia as a teenager and suffered recurrences of the disease in 2012 and 2017.
Allenby wrote on the Players Voice about meeting Lyle when he was a teenager through a "Challenge cancer support network" and the impact of his friend on his life.
"We met because I was his hero … He has been mine ever since," Allenby starts his column.
"I first crossed paths with Jarrod Lyle 20 years ago. He was 16 at the time. I was at Huntingdale for the Australian Masters from memory and I signed an autograph for him."
Later in the piece, Allenby goes into detail about the time he found out about Lyle's latest news.
"I was on the putting green here in Reno when the phone rang. I thought Jarrod was going to call an hour or two later, but he phoned while I was putting.
"As soon as I saw his name come up on my screen, I started crying.
"I said, 'How you doing?' … And he said, 'Nah, not good, mate.'
"He wanted to say goodbye and talk to me one last time. I cracked a joke because I wanted to hear him smile again. I said, 'I'm still the biggest wanker you've ever met.'
"He laughed. 'You're right. You are!'
"I said, 'Don't worry, mate. Sometime in the future we will be having multiple beers together again.'
"It's not a goodbye. We don't know where we're going to end up when we die. I'm a pretty spiritual person and I believe I'll see him again.
"That's pretty much how we left it."
Lyle twice beat acute myeloid leukemia, in 1998 and 2012, and was able to return to play professional golf.
He made an emotional comeback to the golf course during the 2013 Australian Masters in Melbourne before using a medical exemption to play on the U.S. PGA Tour in 2015. He played four seasons on the U.S. tour, where he earned $1.875 million in 121 tournaments.
Lyle returned to Australia permanently to be with Briony and daughters Lusi and Jemma.