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Bert Yancey

Bert Yancey
Personal information
Full nameAlbert Winsborough Yancey
Born(1938-08-06)August 6, 1938
Chipley, Florida
DiedAugust 26, 1994(1994-08-26) (aged 56)
Park City, Utah
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight190 lb (86 kg; 14 st)
Nationality United States
CollegeU.S. Military Academy
Turned professional1960
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins10
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour7
Best results in major championships
Masters Tournament3rd: 1967, 1968
PGA ChampionshipT22: 1970, 1971
U.S. Open3rd/T3: 1968, 1974
The Open Championship5th: 1973

Albert Winsborough Yancey (August 6, 1938 – August 26, 1994) was an American professional golfer who won seven times on the PGA Tour and later played on the Senior PGA Tour.[1][2]


Born in Chipley, Florida, Yancey lived much of his adult life in the Atlanta metro area. He attended the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, and was captain of the Cadet golf team. He suffered from a debilitating illness known then as manic-depressive illness, but today it is more commonly called bipolar disorder. His illness first manifested itself during his senior year at West Point. He spent nine months in an Army psychiatric hospital in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, before being honorably discharged.[1]

Yancey's condition was largely in remission until 1974, which allowed him to participate in competitive golf. He won seven PGA Tour events in 13 seasons. He also had six top-5 finishes in major championships: 1967 Masters (3rd), 1968 Masters (3rd), 1968 U.S. Open (3rd), 1970 Masters (4th), 1973 British Open (5th), 1974 U.S. Open (T-3).

In 1974, Yancey's illness resurfaced and led him to be involved in a series of bizarre incidents, for which he was at various times arrested, incarcerated, and institutionalized.[2][3] One such incident occurred at LaGuardia Airport in 1975. Yancey climbed up on a ladder in the terminal and ordered all white people to one side and all black people to the other, and then proceeded to preach on the evils of racism. During the same incident, he claimed to have all of Howard Hughes' money and stated that he was going to use it to cure cancer. Yancey credited Dr. Jane Parker of Payne Whitney Hospital for correctly diagnosing his condition and prescribing lithium. Lithium, however, caused him to have hand tremors, which forced him to retire from competitive golf. He was able to resume competitive play, however, when Tegretol became available.[1]

Yancey was eventually able to return to life as a productive member of society. In 1984, he took a teaching pro job at three South Carolina clubs. He joined the Senior PGA Tour after reaching the age of 50 in August 1988. During the last five years of his life he became a devoted public speaker and advocate for those with mental illnesses.[1] He formed Bogeys, Birdies & Bert, a group “for the education and support of depressive illnesses” in an effort to spread the message on manic depression and mental illness. He also put on seminars, golfing clinics, tournaments and other charitable events to raise money to treat illness and educate the public.[3]


Yancey suffered a fatal heart attack in 1994 at age 56 at the Franklin Quest Championship in Park City, Utah. While on the practice tee preparing for the first round, he experienced discomfort and made a second visit to the first aid tent; he went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at a local hospital a short time later.[2][4] Yancey is interred at Oakland Cemetery in Tallahassee, Florida, not far from his boyhood home.[1][3]

He was survived by his wife, Cheryl, their daughter, Andrea, Bert's children from a previous marriage, daughter Tracy and three sons Charles, Scott and Jeffrey, and two grandchildren.[1]

The Bert Yancey Mental Health Golf Tournament, based in Augusta, Georgia, is held annually to benefit local chapters of non-profit national organizations Mental Health America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.[5]

Professional wins (10)

PGA Tour wins (7)

No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
1 Apr 17, 1966 Azalea Open Invitational 74-69-67-68=278 −10 1 stroke United States Bob Johnson
2 Jun 5, 1966 Memphis Open Invitational 63-69-67-66=265 −15 5 strokes United States Gene Littler
3 Sep 18, 1966 Portland Open Invitational 68-68-68-67=271 −17 3 strokes United States Billy Casper
4 Apr 24, 1967 Dallas Open Invitational 68-69-67-71=274 −6 1 stroke Argentina Roberto De Vicenzo, United States Kermit Zarley
5 May 25, 1969 Atlanta Classic 71-68-69-69=277 −11 Playoff Australia Bruce Devlin
6 Jan 25, 1970 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am 67-70-72-69=278 −10 1 stroke United States Jack Nicklaus
7 Jul 23, 1972 American Golf Classic 69-68-67-72=276 −4 Playoff United States Tom Ulozas

PGA Tour playoff record (2–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1969 Atlanta Classic Australia Bruce Devlin Won with birdie on second extra hole
2 1970 Kaiser International Open Invitational United States Ken Still, United States Lee Trevino Still won with birdie on first extra hole
3 1971 Robinson Open Golf Classic United States Labron Harris, Jr. Lost to birdie on third extra hole
4 1972 American Golf Classic United States Tom Ulozas Won with par on first extra hole

Other wins

this list is probably incomplete

Results in major championships

Tournament 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975
Masters Tournament 3 3 T13 4 CUT T12 T51 T30
U.S. Open WD T42 3 T22 T22 T9 T11 T25 T3 CUT
The Open Championship T43 T42 T16 T13 T11 T19 5
PGA Championship T49 WD T23 CUT T22 T22 T29 T24 T32
  Top 10
  Did not play

WD = withdrew
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 2 3 3 5 8 7
U.S. Open 0 0 2 2 3 7 10 8
The Open Championship 0 0 0 1 1 5 7 7
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 0 4 9 7
Totals 0 0 4 6 7 21 34 29
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 14 (1971 U.S. Open – 1975 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (1968 Masters – 1968 U.S. Open)

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Thomas, Robert McG., Jr (August 27, 1994). "Bert Yancey, 56, a pro golfer who fought manic depression". New York Times.
  2. ^ a b c "Golfer collapses at course, dies". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. August 27, 1994. p. 29.
  3. ^ a b c "Profile on USMA Class of 1961 webpage". Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
  4. ^ Sorensen, Mike (August 27, 1994). "Yancey's death stuns golfers". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. D1.
  5. ^ "2014 Yancey Mental Health Golf Tournament". Archived from the original on April 19, 2014. Retrieved April 18, 2014.

External links

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