Rickie Fowler has been playing great golf at the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open, forging a four-shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round at TPC Scottsdale.
While he’s been wearing a variety of Puma Golf hats throughout the tournament, one constant has been Fowler wearing a duck logo pin on his hat that’s no doubt drawn some attention. The duck logo is Leuk the Duke, which is the mascot for the Australian charity Challenge, which raises money and doles out funds for organizations working to help those individuals and families facing pediatric cancer.
Challenge was the preferred charity for Jarrod Lyle, who spent many years on the PGA Tour before his third lifetime bout with acute myeloid leukemia claimed his life in August 2018 at the age of 36. Throughout the second and third run-ins with the condition, the Australian Lyle wore a yellow bucket hat and favored the color in his apparel because of the connection to the Australian charity.
Throughout Lyle’s public battles with leukemia, PGA Tour players and other professionals around the world wore Leuk the Duck pins as a sign of support for their fellow pro. Fowler is doing so again this week, as the Phoenix Open organizers created a temporary memorial to Lyle on the par-3 16th hole for Saturday’s third round. Lyle is one of nine players to make a hole-in-one (back in 2011) at the infamous short hole, so the Thunderbirds wanted to draw attention to his valiant fight and a life well-lived amid the festivities.
At this tournament in 2018, Fowler wore the photo of Griffin Connell on his hat, a Scottsdale-area boy who passed away at age 7 from a complex airway disorder. Fowler first met Connell at this tournament in 2013, and Connell had returned to the tournament in succeeding years to see his favorite player.