Bruce Lietzke dies at 67 after battle with brain cancer

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Bruce Lietzke dies at 67 after battle with brain cancer

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Bruce Lietzke dies at 67 after battle with brain cancer

Bruce Lietzke passed away Saturday, as the 67-year-old lost a battle with brain cancer.

The 13-time PGA Tour winner was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, last April. Per Golf Digest, Lietzke proceeded to have surgery to remove a tumor and subsequently underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

While the treatments proved effective, it was revealed three months ago that tumors had returned in the vestibular nerves in his brain.

After Lietzke’s passing, two-time U.S. Open winner Curtis Strange offered a message of support:

Lietzke made a nice living on the PGA Tour with a reliable fade, but the University of Houston product loved more than golf.

He was an avid fisherman and had a collection of cars. Lietzke was also known as a player who could forgo practice.

The most famous example was the banana story. Lietzke told his caddie Al Hansen after the 1984 season that he would not be touching his clubs until the ’85 campaign started.

A skeptical Hansen decided to test that assertion, taking the head cover off Lietzke’s driver, stuffing a banana inside, replacing the head cover and zipping up the travel bag.

Months later, Lietzke made his ’85 debut at the Bob Hope Desert Classic. In his bag was a rotten banana.

“You should have smelled it,” said Lietzke, in a 2003 article in the Toledo Blade. “Al couldn’t believe that I’d go the whole off-season and not practice. He figured he’d have the last laugh. Well, nobody was laughing.

“The banana was just nasty, all black and covered in fungus. It did something to the driver; it was a real wooden club, and I could never use it after that week. Then I had to throw the bag away. Every time I threw something away I just glared at him.”

Lietzke would win seven times on the PGA Tour Champions, following his 13 titles on the PGA Tour.

He never won a major, but finished top 10 in three of the four. His highest finish there was a runner-up (to John Daly) at the 1991 PGA Championship.

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