The first round of the US PGA Championship went by with heavy hearts as Tiger Woods and Jason Day remembered Jarrod Lyle.
Much-loved Australian golfer Lyle died on Wednesday after a long and ongoing battle with acute myeloid leukaemia.
American Rickie Fowler changed the colour of his shirt to yellow in tribute to Lyle as he opened his PGA Championship campaign in St Louis on Thursday.
Former world number one Day, who carded a three-under-par 67 to be three shots off the pace at Bellerive Country Club, displayed emotion when talking about his countryman Lyle afterwards.
"I received a text about Jarrod, and I just was — it's hard because you sit there and you know him and he's a buddy of yours, and he's not there anymore," Day said. "He's never going to come back. That's the hardest thing to sort of come by. Now I'm tearing up.
"I lived across the street from him when we first started out in Orlando. He's a good buddy of mine. It's obviously heart breaking to see. I've known Jarrod for a long time, and obviously my thoughts and prayers go out to Bri and the two kids. It's just — they're going through some stuff right now. It's hard to hear that information when it comes through any time.
"He battled half his life. And the crazy thing is he was always upbeat and positive. 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.
"I would not know one-tenth of what he went through and what his family went through, but he was a really good buddy of mine, a good friend of mine. He impacted a lot of people just because of it. I mean, there's a lot of people out there that are sick and have probably the same thing going on. So for people to hear his story and know that he fought on for a long time and lived a good life and had two kids and had a good loving wife, that's a lot of positive to come out of a story like that."
It's so sad to lose Jarrod after all he went through. I played with him once at Firestone and he had an amazing spirit. We're all family out here and support each other.— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) August 9, 2018
Meanwhile, 14-time major champion Woods shared a memory of Lyle, even though they rarely crossed paths.
"I knew him a little bit. I remember playing with him at Firestone years ago," Woods said.
"I think he had just finished off his first bout with cancer and came back and played. I met him on a few other occasions, but that was the only time I ever actually played with him. It's tough. It's a tough loss."
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