Tyler Duncan

Bart Bryant, 3-time winner on PGA Tour, dies

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Bart Bryant, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour who bested Tiger Woods by six strokes to win the 2005 Tour Championship, died Tuesday in a car accident at the age of 59, it was announced.

Bryant was killed and his wife was injured when a truck slammed into their SUV while they were stopped in a line of vehicles on a central Florida roadway for a construction crew, Polk County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office officials said Wednesday.

Bryant was unresponsive when emergency responders in Polk City found him Tuesday afternoon. He was taken to a hospital where he died. His wife, Donna, 49, was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

According to the sheriff’s office, the Bryants’ SUV was stopped at the construction site near an intersection. A truck traveling in the same direction failed to see their stopped SUV and slammed into it, the sheriff’s office said. An investigation was ongoing.

“The PGA TOUR is saddened by the tragic passing of Bart Bryant and our hearts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “The Bryants have been a part of the PGA TOUR family for over four decades and we are grateful for the impact and legacy he made on our organization and countless communities. Bart will be dearly missed.”

After his first PGA Tour victory at the age of 41 at the 2004 Texas Open in his 187th career start, Bryant won twice in 2005 — at The Memorial and at the Tour Championship — to finish ninth on the money list and rank among the top 25 in the world that season.

His brother, Brad Bryant, won the 1995 Walt Disney World Classic, making them one of 12 sets of brothers to win on the PGA Tour.

Bart Bryant, who was born in Texas and turned professional in 1986, also twice won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open on the PGA Tour Champions circuit, in 2013 and 2018.

He had considered giving up golf because of a shoulder injury in the early 1990s but stayed the course.

His stunning win at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club in his Tour Championship debut started with a course-record 62, and he held at least a share of the lead after every round. Bryant ended up winning by six strokes over Woods, who won two majors that year. It remains the furthest back Woods has ever finished in a tournament in which he was the runner-up.

Bryant’s career was marked by humility and perseverance, and he was awarded the Ben Hogan Award by the Golf Writers Association of America in 2006 for staying active in golf despite physical setbacks.

He had rotator cuff surgery in 1992 that sent him bouncing around mini-tours and trips to PGA Tour qualifying school to keep his card. He also had surgery on both elbows.

“He was a champion on and off the course and will be dearly missed by many,” the PGA Tour Champions posted on Twitter.

Bryant is survived by his second wife, daughters Kristen and Michelle and his stepchildren. His first wife, Cathy, preceded him in death. She died in 2017 of brain cancer, 11 months after her diagnosis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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