|— Golfer —|
|Full name||Albert Winsborough Yancey|
August 6, 1938|
|Died||August 26, 1994
Park City, Utah
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg; 14 st)|
|College||U.S. Military Academy|
|Former tour(s)||PGA Tour
|Number of wins by tour|
|Best results in major championships
|Masters Tournament||3rd: 1967, 1968|
|U.S. Open||3rd/T3: 1968, 1974|
|The Open Championship||5th: 1973|
|PGA Championship||T22: 1970, 1971|
Yancey was born in Chipley, Florida, but lived much of his adult life in the Atlanta metro area. He attended college at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, and was captain of the 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.
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 Tournament (3rd), 1968 Masters Tournament (3rd), 1968 U.S. Open (3rd), 1970 Masters Tournament (4th), 1973 Open Championship (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. 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.
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. 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.
Yancey suffered a heart attack at age 56 at the 1994 Franklin Quest Championship in Park City, Utah. He went into cardiac arrest in the scorer's tent as he was preparing to go out on the course for the first round, and was pronounced dead at a local hospital a short time later. He is interred at Oakland Cemetery in Tallahassee, Florida, not far from his boyhood home.
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.
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.
Professional wins (10)
PGA Tour wins (7)
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of victory||Runner(s)-up|
|1||Apr 17, 1966||Azalea Open Invitational||−10 (74-69-67-68=278)||1 stroke||Bob Johnson|
|2||Jun 5, 1966||Memphis Open Invitational||−15 (63-69--67-66=265)||5 strokes||Gene Littler|
|3||Sep 18, 1966||Portland Open Invitational||−17 (68-68-68-67=271)||3 strokes||Billy Casper|
|4||Apr 24, 1967||Dallas Open Invitational||−10 (68-69-67-71=274)||1 stroke||Roberto De Vicenzo, Kermit Zarley|
|5||May 25, 1969||Atlanta Classic||−11 (71-68-69-69=277)||Playoff||Bruce Devlin|
|6||Jan 25, 1970||Bing Crosby National Pro-Am||−10 (67-70-72-69=278)||1 stroke||Jack Nicklaus|
|7||Jul 23, 1972||American Golf Classic||−4 (69-68-67-72=276)||Playoff||Tom Ulozas|
this list is probably incomplete
Results in major championships
|The Open Championship||DNP||DNP||DNP||T43||T42||T16||T13||T11||T19||5||DNP||DNP|
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Yellow background for top-10
|The Open Championship||0||0||0||1||1||5||7||7|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 14 (1971 U.S. Open – 1975 Masters)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (1968 Masters – 1968 U.S. Open)
- Thomas Jr., Robert McG. (August 27, 1994). "Bert Yancey, 56, a Pro Golfer Who Fought Manic Depression". The New York Times.
- "Profile on USMA Class of 1961 webpage". Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- "2014 Yancey Mental Health Golf Tournament". Retrieved April 18, 2014.