Nine-time LPGA winner Colleen Walker dies

Dec. 12, 2012 at 8:16 AM
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NAPLES, Fla., Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Colleen Walker, who won nine tournaments in a 23-year LPGA career, has died at the age of 56.

Walker died Tuesday at her home in Valrico, Fla., after being diagnosed with cancer for a second time, the LPGA said in a release.

Walker, born Aug. 16, 1956, in Jacksonville, Fla., took up golf at age 14 and became an LPGA professional in 1982.

She collected her first tournament win in the 1987 Mayflower Classic and in 1988 won the Vare Trophy for low scoring average. She won three times in 1992 and her final two titles, including a major championship at the du Maurier Classic, came in 1997.

Walker was awarded with the LPGA's Heather Farr Award in 2004, given to a player on the tour who through hard work, dedication and love of the game of golf, demonstrated determination, perseverance and spirit.

That was after Walker was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2003.

She returned to competitive golf that September after the cancer was declared in remission. However, about a year ago doctors said Walker again had cancer and that the disease had spread to her hips and pelvis.

Walker is survived by her husband, Ron Bakich, and a son, Tyler Walker Bakich.

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