Lyle shrugs off cancer scare to be at Masters - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Lyle shrugs off cancer scare to be at Masters

Even when you happen to be standing in heaven it cannot be easy to dismiss a cancer scare that happened just 10 days ago, but Sandy Lyle did just that as he basked in the idyllic surroundings here yesterday bearing the wound where a growth was recently removed.

Even when you happen to be standing in heaven it cannot be easy to dismiss a cancer scare that happened just 10 days ago, but Sandy Lyle did just that as he basked in the idyllic surroundings here yesterday bearing the wound where a growth was recently removed.

Lyle does not do fear, especially at Augusta, as anyone who remembers his nerveless seven-iron that won him the 1988 Masters from that 18th bunker will testify. And it was going to take something a lot more serious to make him withdraw from his 24th Masters than an abscess on the inside of his left elbow that was later discovered to be a mild form of cancer.

"It's very low-key," insisted the 47-year-old as he prepared for a practice round with his fellow Scot Stuart Wilson, the young amateur champion. "It was just an abscess that could have led to a skin cancer thingy." The eyes of his caddie, Eric Rogers, told a different story, however. "It was quite frightening, to be honest," said the American, who recently married Fanny Sunesson, Nick Faldo's former bag-carrier who is working for Ian Poulter here this week.

"The operation only took 20 minutes," Lyle said, "but then I did only have the seven stitches out five days ago. It's in a very awkward spot and things were dependent on how it healed." Thankfully, Lyle believes it has healed well enough to take his place. But he refused to acknowledge it was connected with the regular exposure to sunlight that has led to other professionals such as Steve Elkington needing operations to remove melanomas. "I will need to have it seen to every year," he said. "But I wasn't worried as my neighbour is a cancer specialist and he knew what had to be done. But it's as beautiful as ever at Augusta and I'm happy to be here."

So, too, was the Irishman Padraig Harrington who arrived here on Sunday after his father, Paddy, rallied sufficiently from inoperable cancer of the oesophagus in the last fortnight to be released from a Dublin hospital.

Jesper Parnevik, meanwhile, was simply pleased that his clubs had turned up. He arrived on Sunday to play a practice round only to discover he had remembered everything except, er, his clubs. Unfortunately those quite crucial items of a golfer's equipment were still on his Orlando doorstep. So he was forced to share a set with a friend. "But it wasn't so successful," said Parnevik.

So what to do: make the trek back south, buy a similar set? No, when you have kind neighbours such as Tiger Woods you can simply make a call and they will fly them up to you. "I rang Tiger and told him what'd happened," he said. "After laughing for about 10 minutes he agreed to pick them up for me. Do I owe him one? Nah, I think I'm probably well in credit with Tiger." Indeed, he is. Tiger's bride, Elin, was working as a nanny for Parnevik when the Swede introduced them at the 2001 Open. One good turn deserves another.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border