As Tiger Woods walked toward his opening tee shot at the WGC Bridgestone at Firestone Country Club, he pinned a yellow ribbon to the back of his hat. He wasn’t the only one wearing a yellow accessory. Flashes of yellow could be seen safety-pinned to caps as Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama, Brendan Steele, Brooks Koepka and many others in the field began their first rounds on Thursday in Akron. The ribbons were a tribute to Australian pro Jarrod Lyle, whose long battle with cancer continues.
Lyle’s wife Briony announced yesterday that Jarrod would no longer actively seek treatment and would instead return home for palliative care. “We will take him closer to home to be near his girls. He has put up a courageous fight and he is surrounded by love,” she wrote. The yellow ribbons are a nod to the yellow bucket hats that Lyle often wore on the course when he was competing.
In the hours since the announcement, support for the Lyle family and deep admiration for Jarrod Lyle has poured out from all corners of the golf world. Golf Channel analyst Tripp Isenhour started a GoFundMe page to raise money for Lyle’s young daughters. It’s already raised more than $10,000. In an interview for PGATour.com, Adam Scott spoke for many as he talked about his friend: “He has done better than anyone would have. He was out on TOUR for so long, playing such good golf while battling illness. He has been through it all. His positivity and general demeanor have been so good and so infectious on others; it’s a good way to think of how I should live my life.”