Leuk a beacon for fallen mate

Blake Windred
Blake Windred and his caddie Chris proudly show off Leuk the Duck before teeing off today.

It’s tough to be on the road when a mate falls.

So it was with great pride that the Australian contingent took to the fairways of the US Amateur today showing their support for Jarrod Lyle, who died last week after a third fight with cancer.

All eight Australian men, who’ve been overseas for varying but lengthy times during Lyle’s final fight, were given a Leuk the Duck head cover for their drivers before taking to either Pebble Beach or Spyglass Hill today.

The gift, which came to symbolise Lyle’s fight, were sent by Challenge, the charity so close to the late 36-year-old’s heart.

Fellow Victorian Zach Murray had a lump in the throat in pulling his head cover on to honour a man he knew well and remains dear in his heart.

“I’ve had my grandfather’s initials on my ball since he died and I’ve had `J-Lo’ on it, too, since we found out,” an emotional Murray said.

“He was such a legend and I know the boys are all pretty pumped to be able to show how much he means to us all.”

Dylan Perry was equally moved.

“It was really comforting today to know I was playing well and head to the bag to pull out the driver with Leuk on it,” Perry said.

“To shove it on the driver this morning felt great, but it was even better to reach for it going well and have that special feeling knowing that you’re playing with Jarrod sort of there, too.”

And their fellow match play qualifier Blake Windred was delighted to unpack his head cover having accidentally left his Leuk pin at home in Newcastle.

“We were racing around before the tournament trying to find yellow ribbon, especially after seeing everyone at the PGA (last week), even Tiger (Woods), wearing it,” Windred said.

“So it was so great of Challenge to get us the head cover – it meant the world to us.

“There were quite a few Americans said how cool it was and for us to show our support like that.

“We are all trying to do it for Jarrod and really it’s great that all the Aussies stick together for him.”

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