Bert Yancey

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Bert Yancey
— Golfer —
Personal information
Full name Albert Winsborough Yancey
Born (1938-08-06)August 6, 1938
Chipley, Florida
Died August 26, 1994(1994-08-26) (aged 56)
Park City, Utah
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 14 st)
Nationality  United States
College U.S. Military Academy
Turned professional 1960
Former tour(s) PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins 10
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 7
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

Albert Winsborough Yancey (August 6, 1938 – August 26, 1994) was an American professional golfer, who played on the PGA Tour and the Senior PGA Tour.


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.[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 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.[2] 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.[2]

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.[1][2]

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.[3]

Professional wins (10)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (7)[edit]

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 United States Gene Littler
3 Sep 18, 1966 Portland Open Invitational −17 (68-68-68-67=271) 3 strokes United States Billy Casper
4 Apr 24, 1967 Dallas Open Invitational −10 (68-69-67-71=274) 1 stroke Argentina Roberto De Vicenzo, United States Kermit Zarley
5 May 25, 1969 Atlanta Classic −11 (71-68-69-69=277) Playoff Australia Bruce Devlin
6 Jan 25, 1970 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am −10 (67-70-72-69=278) 1 stroke United States Jack Nicklaus
7 Jul 23, 1972 American Golf Classic −4 (69-68-67-72=276) Playoff Tom Ulozas

Other wins[edit]

this list is probably incomplete

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP 3 3 T13 4 CUT T12 T51 DNP T30
U.S. Open WD DNP DNP T42 3 T22 T22 T9 T11 T25 T3 CUT
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP T43 T42 T16 T13 T11 T19 5 DNP DNP
PGA Championship DNP DNP T49 WD T23 CUT T22 T22 T29 T24 T32 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


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[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Thomas Jr., Robert McG. (August 27, 1994). "Bert Yancey, 56, a Pro Golfer Who Fought Manic Depression". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ a b c "Profile on USMA Class of 1961 webpage". Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  3. ^ "2014 Yancey Mental Health Golf Tournament". Retrieved April 18, 2014. 

External links[edit]