Bart Bryant, 3-Time PGA Tour Winner, Dies in Florida Car Accident at Age 59

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Bart Bryant plays his tee shot on the second hole during the second round of the PGA TOUR Champions Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship at Firestone Country Club on July 12, 2019 in Akron, Ohio.
Bart Bryant plays his tee shot on the second hole during the second round of the PGA TOUR Champions Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship at Firestone Country Club on July 12, 2019 in Akron, Ohio.

Stan Badz/PGA TOUR via Getty

Bart Bryant, who pulled off three PGA Tour event victories late in his career, died on Tuesday in a car accident at age 59, the PGA Tour announced.

"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.

"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," he added.

In a statement to PEOPLE, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said Bryant and his wife were waiting in an SUV as construction crews stopped traffic on State Road 33 in Polk City, Florida, when they were hit from behind by a pickup truck traveling at approximately 60 mph. Bryant later died at a hospital, while his wife was treated for minor injuries.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing, police said.

Bryant's death comes five years after the cancer-related death of his first wife, Cathy Bryant. He is survived by daughters Kristen and Michelle Bryant, his second wife, Donna, and their stepchildren. His older brother, Brad Bryant, has also won on the PGA Tour.

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Bart Bryant current official PGA TOUR headshot.
Bart Bryant current official PGA TOUR headshot.

Stan Badz/PGA TOUR

Before the three wins, Bryant considered retiring from golf after experiencing a shoulder injury in the early 1990s, the PGA Tour said in their statement.

But through sheer perseverance, he managed to mount a comeback nearly 10 years later. His first PGA Tour win came in 2004 at the Valero Texas Open. It was his 187th start on the tour at 41 years old.

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"One tournament does not make a career," Bryant said at the time, according to the PGA. "This is just the beginning, that's what I'd like to think."

He followed up the feat by winning two tournaments in 2005. His win at Atlanta's East Lake Golf Club in 2005 came at the expense of runner-up, Tiger Woods.

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New Mexico State University, Bryant's alma matter, paid tribute to the golfer on social media.

"Extending our condolences to the family & friends of Bart Bryant who tragically passed away Tuesday night," the university said in a post to their NM State Aggies account. "He was a three-time PGA Tour Winner and an All-American during his time with the @NMStateMGolf team."