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Rickie Fowler opened his US PGA Championship title tilt with a five-under 65 to sit one shot off Gary Woodland’s first round lead at Bellerive.

However, his fantastic start was less of a talking point than the clothes he wore on the opening day of the final men’s major of the season.

The American went off-script and dug out a yellow polo shirt that he wore in tribute to Jarrod Lyle.

Australian PGA Tour pro Lyle passed away on Wednesday after battling acute myeloid leukaemia for the third time.

“The last few weeks, especially last week and this week, we’ve all been thinking about Jarrod a lot,” said Fowler after his opening salvo.

“I was scripted to wear some sort of dark blue shirt, so luckily I had a version of yellowish.”

Rickie Fowler Lyle 2

Fowler, who joined the PGA Tour around the same time as Lyle, said that the 36-year-old’s passing had hit his fellow players hard.

“It’s definitely tough, especially talking with some of the guys that knew Jarrod better than most out here,” he added.

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“Guys like Scotty and Leish and a lot of the Aussies, obviously. You also think about it as far as Jarrod wouldn’t want us out here feeling sorry for him or feeling bad or anything. He’d probably come out here and kick us in the butt and tell us to man up and go have some fun.

“So it’s a little bit kind of bittersweet. You’re trying to go out there and keep living life like he did, but it’s unfortunate that he’s not here with us.”

Jarrod Lyle Main

Fowler also revealed that he had spoken with Lyle last week after news broke that he had decided to end active treatment and, instead, focus on palliative care at home instead.

“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,” said Fowler. “He sounded like he was in a good spot.”


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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