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If you watch the PGA Championship this weekend, you’ll note that several players are wearing yellow ribbons on their hats; Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas are among those sporting the ribbons, as are other players and caddies. They’re a simple, sad tribute to Jarrod Lyle, the professional golfer who died earlier this week.
Who was Jarrod Lyle?
Lyle earned his PGA Tour card in 2007 and played in more than 250 world-ranked events over the course of his career. He reached a high of 142nd in the world, and had five top-five finishes on the PGA Tour between 2009 and 2012. But he was far better known for his sense of humor and his love for his family, as his many friends in the golf world attested.
“He battled half his life. And the crazy thing is he was always upbeat and positive,” Jason Day said. “No matter what you did, you could be playing terrible, and if you’re playing golf with him, you always walked off the golf course happy. For him to first get diagnosed with it when he was 17 years old and then battled three times, it just goes to show how much of a fighter he was inside to be able to keep pushing on even though it is painful to go through the stuff that he went through.”
Lyle often sported a yellow bucket hat, hence the ribbons. Rickie Fowler switched out of his proscribed blue shirt on Thursday to wear a yellow one to honor Lyle.
“It’s been a tough few weeks, especially talking with guys that were also close with Jarrod,” Fowler said Thursday. “I was lucky enough to be able to talk to him last Friday, so one thing that did help is hearing kind of from him how he felt. He sounded like he was in a good spot. Obviously that’s not something that’s easy to deal with. And it’s been fun to be thinking about him while we’re out there playing because he would probably be the one to kind of kick you in the butt if you started feeling sad or bad, he would kind of give you a hard time and tell to you man up or something along those lines. Maybe not those same words. So it’s been enjoyable celebrating his life and we’ll continue to do that.”
Tour players rally to aid Lyle’s family
Lyle leaves behind a wife and two daughters, and the golf community has rallied to their aid. Woods donated $10,000 to the family, and Bryson Dechambeau gave the $25,000 he won for a PGA Championship long drive contest to the Lyles. Others are likely to follow, and the ribbons are a fine tribute to a beloved friend.
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