PGA Tour winner Bart Bryant has died at the age of 59 – just five years after his wife’s death.
The golf legend, who famously beat Tiger Woods by six strokes in the 2005 Tour, died in a car crash on Tuesday, as confirmed by PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.
Golfer Bart Bryant died in a car accident on Tuesday at the age of 59
Bryant’s death comes five years after his first wife Cathy died from brain cancer
Bryant and Cathy shared two daughters, Kristen and Michelle
The tragedy comes after Bryant’s first wife of 34 years Cathy passed away in April 2017, just 11 months after being diagnosed with brain cancer.
Bryant previously spoke of his wife’s death, telling the PGA Tour in May 2017 that his family “did a lot of grieving [as a family] before she passed away.”
He added: “When she passed away, it wasn’t wow, what is this? I had already seen it. I hoped to the very end, but I had already seen it. I knew what to expect. I researched it.
“We did a lot of talking about it. So when the time came, we weren’t overwhelmed. We were happy we were all with her. We had prepared and I think that helps us all a lot. Not that we’re not still grieving and we will for a while.”
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Cathy was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma after going to the hospital due to severe nausea and headaches, Bryant told the PGA Tour.
Despite the most aggressive treatments, Cathy did not survive, but Bryant said she kept a positive attitude even in the darkest days of the illness.
“She never questioned it, she never had any fear about it. She never felt cheated because she had somewhat of a short life by today’s standards,” Bryant shared.
“I won’t say she embraced it. She wanted to live. Her attitude was so extremely good and that made it easier for all of us. She was always positive, always every grateful for what everyone was doing for her.”
Cathy even asked Bryant what he was doing to improve his game during her last months, but the golf pro had different priorities.
He said: “I knew there weren’t going to be a lot of opportunities to be with her, so I didn’t think about golf, I didn’t care about golf … She always wanted to be positive, so she’d say, ‘You need to go play because that’s what you do. I’m going to be around.’ “
Bryant and Cathy shared two daughters, Kristen and Michelle.
He went on to marry his second wife Donna in 2018.
Bryant is known as a three-time PGA Tour winner, and as the only competitor to hand Tiger Woods the largest defeat of his career during the 2005 TOUR Championship tournament.
Tour commissioner Jay Monahan confirmed Bryant’s death on Wednesday, saying: “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.
“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.”
Bryant turned pro in 1986 but struggled with injuries during the early stages of his career.
He considered quitting the sport after a shoulder injury sent him off the TOUR in the early ’90s.
Eventually, he won his first PGA Tour in 2004 at the Valero Texas Open, making him the oldest first-time winner at 41.
Bryant earned three PGA victories after turning 40, two of which came in 2005 when he won two of the TOUR’s biggest events, the TOUR Championship and Memorial Tournament.
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During the latter stages of his career, Bryant also won the Dicks Sporting Goods Open in 2013 and 2018.
He is survived by his wife Donna, daughters Kristen and Michelle and his stepchildren.