Greg Chalmers, as is his way, spoke succinctly about the first Australian Open without Jarrod Lyle in a generation.
Sporting a Leuk The Duck pin that has effectively become the late Lyle’s ongoing trademark, Chalmers was clearly moved when asked of his long-time mate, who passed away in August after a third fight with leukemia.
“A lot of guys miss him. My favourite thing is, he was a better person than he was a golfer, and he was a really good golfer,” Chalmers said today on the eve of the 103rd Australian Open that will feature the Lyle Mile in recognition of the former US PGA Tour player.
“He was a fabulous human being. I just loved how Australian he was.
“(He) loved swearing. I bet him one time, 100 bucks, (that) he couldn’t go one day without swearing – and he lost.
“He was such a good man. Can’t do enough for him.”
Continuing that theme, Lyle’s widow Briony has bravely returned to the Open this week to continue charity work to raise money for Challenge and a new initiative, “Jarrod’s Gift”.
She stood with Jarrod at the equivalent tent at last year’s Open and, as she told Golf Australia in a heartfelt interview, still finds it “hard to believe” he’s not here again at the tournament he cherished above all others.
But her resolve remains strong, to live out her husband’s wishes.
“It was Jarrod’s goal to make a family’s journey with cancer a little easier by providing practical assistance and support wherever he could,” she said.
“The ‘Gift’, his legacy, will not be big and flashy, but will operate in the background, with a focus on the practical aspects of support for families on their own cancer journey.”
Briony said the funds raised would help offer assistance for the “little things” such as a home-cooked meal, lawn mowing, extra childcare or babysitting, a break for carers, or simply some help with house cleaning duties.
“Jarrod knew firsthand how hard a cancer diagnosis can be for an entire family, but he also knew how incredible even the tiniest bit of support is and the difference it can truly make,” she said.
To continue #doingitforjarrod, visit www.challenge.org.au/event/jarrod-lyles-gift/ to learn more.