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How did Bart Bryant die?

The Texas native, three-time PGA Tour succumbs to injuries sustained in car accident as he and his wife drove to their home near Orlando.

Jeffrey May
The Texas native, three-time PGA Tour succumbs to injuries sustained in car accident as he and his wife drove to their home near Orlando.
Mike EhrmannAFP

Three-time PGA Tour winner Bart Bryant and his wife Donna were en route to their home in Winter Garden, Florida, when they were involved in an accident in Polk County on Tuesday.

Details of the accident are still developing, but it has been reported by local news outlets that the accident occurred along Florida state Route 33, in unincorporated Polk City, about 50 miles southwest of Orlando.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office reported that Bryant and his wife Donna were waiting in a white Volkswagen SUV as construction crews, equipped with flags, cones, and signs, stopped traffic in both directions.

Authorities said that a black 2011 Ford F-150 pickup truck, driven by 21-year-old Mark Farkas of Clermont, failed to stop and slammed into the back of the SUV at roughly 60 mph.

When first responders arrived, they found the 59-year-old Bryant unresponsive, and immediately began CPR, which continued until Bryant arrived at the local hospital. Bryant’s wife, Donna, was transported to an area hospital suffering from minor injuries. Farkas was uninjured.

It is currently unknown why Farkas failed to stop and an investigation is ongoing.

Texas native Bryant was an All-American at New Mexico State University before turning pro in 1986. Reaching the PGA Tour in 1991, he had a career plagued by injury, having to return to qualifying school six times to keep his tour card.

A late bloomer, perhaps, Bryant had his breakthrough at the age of 41 with his 187th career start, fittingly enough at the Valero State Open in his native Texas. The following year, he won the Memorial Tournament, beating Fred Couples by one stroke, and then only three months later Bryant won the Tour Championship by six shots, giving Tiger Woods the largest deficit of his career.

Finishing his career with 317 starts and taking more than $9 million in prize money, he is remembered fondly by all on the PGA Tour. Commissioner Jay Monahan said of this tragedy, “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.

Bart Bryant’s first wife of 34 years, Cathy Cox, died of brain cancer in April 2017. He is survived by his second wife Donna, daughters Kristen and Michelle and his stepchildren.


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