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You're nobody till somebody hates you
Dan Jenkins
May 03, 1965
And the somebodies of the pro tour can be excused if they are becoming peevish, for the nobodies are making the headlines and getting rich
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May 03, 1965

You're Nobody Till Somebody Hates You

And the somebodies of the pro tour can be excused if they are becoming peevish, for the nobodies are making the headlines and getting rich

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? Bert Yancey, 26, 6 feet 1, 190. Born in Chipley, Fla., Yancey plays out of Philadelphia. He was once a cadet at West Point, but after his third year there he suffered a nervous breakdown, spent four months in a hospital and received a medical discharge. More of a swinger than a hitter, Yancey is deliberate and stylish, but gets great length off the tee. He has been in serious contention for two titles—Phoenix and Houston. Says Dave Marr: "A helluva player. Lot of guts. Typical of the young ones. He's 26, which means that when golf was really getting popular around 1955 he was 16 and watching it on television and thinking one day he'd like to be out here. Here he is."

?Billy Martindale, 26, 6 feet, 175. Like Bobby Nichols, Martindale is a graduate of Texas A&M and frequently is annoyed by shouts of " Gig 'em, Aggies" on his backswing. A natural athlete, he was an All-State high school quarterback and at the age of 10 was a national skeet shooting champion in spite of 20/200 eyesight. ("He wore contact lenses until all that sand from traps started getting in his eyes," his mother recalls.) Bareheaded, talkative and gum-chewing, he has been a contender in no less than four tournaments this year and has banked over $10,000. "I must have played in 200 amateur tournaments," says Billy. "That helped prepare me for the tour." Impressed with Martindale, Billy Maxwell says, "He hits it hard. These kids ain't afraid of nuthin'. They start out swingin' hard, instead of just tryin' to swing good."

? George Archer, 25, 6 feet 6, 190. Tallest player on the tour, Archer came with splendid amateur credentials. He won the Trans-Mississippi and was a semifinalist in the U.S. Amateur in 1963. One year ago, as a rookie, he led the Carling World Open through two rounds. Backed on the tour by Eugene Selvage, on whose ranch in Gilroy, Calif. he cowboyed, Archer's victory in the Lucky International suggests that his big swing and good-natured grin will be around for quite a while. "He is taking advantage of the times," says Jay Hebert. "There is more money available from sponsors to put a player on the tour now. I had to work for nine years in a pro shop before I could go out. I was 21 before I ever saw a good player hit a shot. A 5-year-old kid can sit by the TV now and see the best."

?Terry Dill, 25, 6 feet 3, 195. Not long ago he claimed to be raising barbed-wire fences for $1.40 an hour in Muleshoe. As strong off the tee as Jack Nicklaus, Dill is far from being as consistent. He is, however, one of the most colorful newcomers since Jimmy Demaret wore tasseled berets. In his first Masters three weeks ago, Dill argued his way out of a two-stroke penalty for slow play, explained that he no longer wore his big-brimmed planter's hat because a PGA official did not think it looked dignified, and calmly announced to a corps of newspaper writers that Muleshoe's greens were better than those at Augusta National. "But you got to remember," added Terry, "there ain't many greens in the world better'n those at Muleshoe." Dill won $16,289 last year on the summer tour, once he had overcome the advice he was getting from the regulars. "They almost helped me right off the tour," he says, grinning. "When this kid gets everything going at the same time, watch out," says Byron Nelson. "Man alive, he's got nerve."

? Frank Beard, 25, 6 feet, 165. Another long hitter, he has not been especially well remembered for winning the Frank Sinatra Open at Palm Springs in 1963, his first year on the tour. Last year a near-fatal attack of encephalitis kept him off the tour until May. But, epitomizing the undaunted newcomers, he won $21,000 from there on, and has earned $26,000 so far this year in official and unofficial money. Born in Dallas, Beard grew up in Louisville, and like another Louisville athlete, Cassius Clay, he got his professional start thanks to a syndicate of local businessmen, which put up $5,000 for him to try the tour.

? Homero Blancas, 27, 5 feet 10, 180. The son of the maintenance superintendent at Houston's River Oaks Country Club, Blancas is one of those former University of Houston golf stars. (Fifteen former Houston players are now tour regulars.) Long enough, straight and steady, Blancas is just out of the Army and belatedly starting his pro career. Once, on a regulation-length course in Longview, Texas, he shot a 55, the lowest competitive round in the annals of U.S. golf. "If he doesn't make it, it can't be made," says Jimmy Demaret. "A lot of these young ones can play, but Homero can really play."

Those six are just a sample. "There's a bunch of 'em out here now who can hit it a ton," said Bobby Nichols the other day, "and with most of the courses tailored for power hitters a youngster has a lot in his favor." Nichols should know. He is 29, 6 feet 2, hits it a ton and until three years ago he was a nobody, too. But a nobody can become somebody very fast.

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