Tributes flow for Bart Bryant after PGA great's death at 59

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·Sports Reporter
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Tributes have flowed for former Tour Championship winner Bart Bryant, after the 59-year-old died in a car accident. (Photo by Phil Inglis/Getty Images)
Tributes have flowed for former Tour Championship winner Bart Bryant, after the 59-year-old died in a car accident. (Photo by Phil Inglis/Getty Images)

The golf world has united in grief after the tragic death of former Tour Championship winner Bart Bryant in a car crash.

Bryant, 59, was waiting at a stop sign for highway contruction with his wife in the passenger seat when a pick-up truck slammed into the back of them at roughly 100 kilometres per hour.

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Local reports said Bryant was unresponsive afterwards, and later died in hospital.

His wife Donna was taken to hospital with minor injuries and is expected to make a full recovery, while the driver of the pick-up was not injured and police are investigating why they didn't slow down.

Golf fans were left saddened by the news, with Bryant's family thanking well-wishers for their support through a statement issued to the media.

Bart Bryant, pictured here hugging his wife and family after winning The Tour Championship in 2005.
Bart Bryant hugs his wife and family after winning The Tour Championship in 2005. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

“The Bryant family is grateful for all the prayers and support from the golf community across the country,” his family said in a statement, via Fox 8.

“We know Bart is with Jesus. We will miss him.”

The PGA Tour also issued a statement in the wake of Bryant's death.

Commissioner Jay Monahan said Bryant would be 'deeply missed' and that his contributions to the sport would not be easily forgotten.

“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,” he 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."

Social media was also the site of many tributes to the three time PGA Tour winner, whose peak came in the mid 2000s with wins at the Tour Championship and the Memorial Tournament in 2005, and the 2004 Valero Texas Open.

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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.

Bryant also had surgery on both elbows, and he won his first tournament at the 2004 Texas Open.

Nothing could top the 2005 season. He held off Fred Couples to win the Memorial, saving par from a creek on the 18th hole at Muirfield Village.

Then at the Tour Championship at East Lake to end the year, he opened with a 62 and went wire-to-wire, winning by six shots over Woods.

That remains the most shots Woods finished behind as a runner-up.

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.

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.

With agencies

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