Bruce Lietzke

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Bruce Lietzke
Personal information
Full nameBruce Alan Lietzke
Born(1951-07-18)July 18, 1951
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
DiedJuly 28, 2018(2018-07-28) (aged 67)
Athens, Texas, U.S.
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)
Nationality United States
CollegeUniversity of Houston
Turned professional1974
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins22
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour13
PGA Tour Champions7
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament6th/T6: 1979, 1985
U.S. OpenT17: 1981
The Open ChampionshipT6: 1981
PGA Championship2nd: 1991

Bruce Alan Lietzke (July 18, 1951 – July 28, 2018) was an American professional golfer who won 13 tournaments on the PGA Tour between 1977 and 1994, including two victories in the Canadian Open. His best finish in a major championship was at the 1991 PGA Championship where he finished second, three strokes behind John Daly. He had seven victories on the Champions Tour, including one senior major title, the 2003 U.S. Senior Open. He played in the 1981 Ryder Cup.

Early life[edit]

Lietzke was born in Kansas City, Missouri.[1] He moved to Beaumont, Texas with his parents in 1960 and lived there until 1977, graduating from Forest Park High School in 1969.[2]


Lietzke credited his older brother, Duane, for introducing him to the game of golf at age five. He also credits Henry Homberg, a local Beaumont professional, along with Duane for having the greatest influences on his game when he first started playing. Lietzke attended the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. He graduated in 1973 and turned pro in 1974.


Lietzke's first PGA Tour victory was in the 1977 Tucson Open. Although he had to wait until the Champions Tour to win a major in the 2003 U.S. Senior Open, Lietzke had a relatively successful career, winning a combined total of 20 tournaments on the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour. His career year on the PGA Tour was 1981, when he had three tournament victories. He played on the winning 1981 U.S. Ryder Cup team at Walton Heath Golf Club in England in what is considered by many to be the finest American team ever assembled.[3]

Lietzke's best finish in a major on the PGA Tour was a solo second place at the 1991 PGA Championship.[4]

Lietzke was well known for not practicing a great deal, and not playing in a large number of tournaments compared to his fellow competitors, electing to spend more time with his family. He did not play more than 25 events in any PGA Tour season and never played more than 20 tournaments in a single season after 1988.[5] Despite this he never finished below 74th on the money list. During his career, Lietzke played in 506 PGA Tour events.


Lietzke enjoyed collecting classic cars and built an 11-car garage at his home in which to store his large collection; the crown jewel was a 1967 yellow Corvette Stingray convertible. He listed Bruce Springsteen as his favorite entertainer and Don "Big Daddy" Garlits as his favorite athlete. He made his home in Dallas, Texas. In 1978, Lietzke was shown in print ads for the Dodge Magnum coupe, as also being a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda owner.

Lietzke was an avid supporter of the Sour Mash Open in Parkersburg, West Virginia. He played in the event numerous times. "The Bryce-Lietzke-Martin Scholarship Fund was the first fund established by the Sour Mash Open Golf Tournament Committee in 1990 in honor of the late Dr. John Coyle Bryce, PGA Golf Professional, Bruce Lietzke, and Larry Martin. The earnings of the fund are used to provide scholarships to worthy Wood County students who have shown an interest in golf."[6]

Personal life[edit]

Lietzke and Jerry Pate were brothers-in-law. Lietzke's wife, Rose, and Pate's wife, Soozi, are sisters. Lietzke and Pate played together in the 1981 Ryder Cup.[5]

Medical problems and death[edit]

In April 2017 Lietzke was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma.[7] He died July 28, 2018 from complications of the disease and attempts at treating it, which his body rejected.[1][8]

Professional wins (22)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (13)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 Jan 16, 1977 Joe Garagiola-Tucson Open −13 (70-66-70-69=275) Playoff United States Gene Littler
2 Feb 6, 1977 Hawaiian Open −15 (67-70-67-69=273) 3 strokes United States Don January, Japan Takashi Murakami
3 Jun 25, 1978 Canadian Open −1 (76-67-67-73=283) 1 stroke United States Pat McGowan
4 Feb 18, 1979 Joe Garagiola-Tucson Open (2) −15 (63-66-68-68=265) 2 strokes United States Buddy Gardner, United States Jim Thorpe,
United States Tom Watson
5 May 18, 1980 Colonial National Invitation −9 (63-68-71-69=271) 1 stroke United States Ben Crenshaw
6 Jan 18, 1981 Bob Hope Desert Classic −25 (65-66-65-70-69=335) 2 strokes United States Jerry Pate
7 Feb 8, 1981 Wickes-Andy Williams San Diego Open −10 (68-72-70-68=278) Playoff United States Raymond Floyd, United States Tom Jenkins
8 May 10, 1981 Byron Nelson Golf Classic +1 (68-74-69-70=281) Playoff United States Tom Watson
9 Aug 1, 1982 Canadian Open (2) −7 (68-68-68-73=277) 2 strokes United States Hal Sutton
10 Mar 4, 1984 Honda Classic −8 (72-70-70-68=280) Playoff United States Andy Bean
11 May 15, 1988 GTE Byron Nelson Golf Classic (2) −9 (66-69-66-70=271) Playoff United States Clarence Rose
12 May 24, 1992 Southwestern Bell Colonial (2) −13 (69-68-64-66=267) Playoff United States Corey Pavin
13 Oct 23, 1994 Las Vegas Invitational −28 (66-67-68-66-65=332) 1 stroke United States Robert Gamez

PGA Tour playoff record (6–6)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1977 Joe Garagiola-Tucson Open United States Gene Littler Won with birdie on fourth extra hole
2 1977 MONY Tournament of Champions United States Jack Nicklaus Lost to birdie on third extra hole
3 1978 Tallahassee Open United States Barry Jaeckel Lost to par on first extra hole
4 1981 Wickes-Andy Williams San Diego Open United States Raymond Floyd, United States Tom Jenkins Won with birdie on second extra hole
Jenkins eliminated with par on first hole
5 1981 Byron Nelson Golf Classic United States Tom Watson Won with par on first extra hole
6 1984 Honda Classic United States Andy Bean Won with par on first extra hole
7 1988 GTE Byron Nelson Classic United States Clarence Rose Won with birdie on first extra hole
8 1992 GTE Byron Nelson Classic United States Billy Ray Brown, United States Ben Crenshaw, United States Raymond Floyd Brown won with birdie on first extra hole
9 1992 Southwestern Bell Colonial United States Corey Pavin Won with birdie on first extra hole
10 1992 Canadian Open Australia Greg Norman Lost to birdie on second extra hole
11 1995 Mercedes Championships Australia Steve Elkington Lost to birdie on second extra hole
12 1998 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic United States Fred Couples Lost to birdie on first extra hole

Other wins (1)[edit]

Champions Tour wins (7)[edit]

Champions Tour major championships (1)
Other Champions Tour (6)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 Aug 12, 2001 3M Championship −9 (72-66-69=207) 2 strokes United States Doug Tewell
2 Sep 23, 2001 SAS Championship −15 (69-66-66=201) 3 strokes United States Allen Doyle, United States Gary McCord
3 Feb 24, 2002 Audi Senior Classic −8 (75-66-67=208) 1 stroke United States Hale Irwin, United States Gary McCord
4 May 12, 2002 TD Waterhouse Championship −11 (69-64=133) 2 strokes United States Larry Nelson
5 Sep 22, 2002 SAS Championship (2) −14 (72-63-67=202) 4 strokes United States Gil Morgan, United States Sammy Rachels, United States Tom Watson
6 Apr 27, 2003 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf −10 (70-65-71=26) 1 stroke United States David Eger, United States Dana Quigley
7 Jun 29, 2003 U.S. Senior Open −7 (69-71-64-73=277) 2 strokes United States Tom Watson

Other senior wins (1)[edit]

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament T28 6
U.S. Open CUT CUT T47 T19 T20 T41
The Open Championship
PGA Championship T38 T15 62 T16
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Masters Tournament CUT T11 T20 T42 T33 T6 T31 49 T34
U.S. Open T38 T17 CUT CUT T31
The Open Championship T19 T6 CUT
PGA Championship T30 T4 T16 T6 T65 T18 T5 T28 T62 T46
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995
Masters Tournament T13 T31 T31
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship CUT 2 T73 CUT T23
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 2 5 14 13
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 0 3 11 7
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 2
PGA Championship 0 1 0 3 4 9 19 17
Totals 0 1 0 3 7 19 47 39
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 13 (1983 PGA – 1989 PGA)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (1981 Open Championship – 1981 PGA)

Senior major championships[edit]

Wins (1)[edit]

Year Championship Winning score Margin Runner-up
2003 U.S. Senior Open −7 (69-71-64-73=277) 2 strokes United States Tom Watson

U.S. national team appearances[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b McCabe, Jim (28 July 2018). "Lietzke passes away at age 67". PGA Tour.
  2. ^ "Bruce Lietzke". Museum of the Gulf Coast. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  3. ^ Perry, Alex (July 20, 2011). "Ryder Cup reunion at Walton Heath". Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  4. ^ "Golf Major Championships". Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Player profile — Jerry Pate". PGA. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  6. ^ "Bryce-Lietzke-Martin Scholarship Fund". Retrieved December 4, 2013.
  7. ^ Rosaforte, Tim (June 22, 2017). "Family and friends rally around Bruce Lietzke as he takes diagnosis in stride". Golf Digest.
  8. ^ Strege, John (July 28, 2018). "Bruce Lietzke, 67, succumbs to brain cancer". Golf Digest.

External links[edit]