Notah Begay III
Notah Ryan Begay III (born September 14, 1972) is an American professional golfer. He is the only full-blood Native American golfer on the PGA Tour. He is currently an analyst with the Golf Channel.
Begay was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and graduated from a private high school, Albuquerque Academy. He attended Stanford University, where he was a three-time All-American and a teammate of Tiger Woods. He was a member of Stanford’s 1994 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship team. After graduation, Begay turned professional in 1995.
In 1998, Begay shot a 59 in the second round of the Nike Tour Dominion Open, to join the few golfers to ever shoot a 59 in a professional tournament. He placed 10th on the Nike Tour money list that year, earning a place on the PGA Tour for 1999.
Begay had a pair of wins in each of his first two seasons on the Tour. From late September 1999 to early July 2000, a period of just over nine months, Begay recorded four PGA Tour wins, with the third and fourth wins coming in successive weeks. Since then, he was plagued by back trouble which put his future as a professional golfer in doubt. In 2005, he played under a “Major Medical Exemption” with little success. In 2006, he played on the Nationwide Tour. At the end of 2006, he successfully earned a card for the European Tour from their qualifying school. In December 2008, he regained his playing card for the 2009 PGA Tour season at Q-school.
Begay has been featured in the top 20 of the Official World Golf Rankings. He successfully utilized a unique putting method. Using a putter with playing faces on both the front and back of the head, he putted right-to-left-breaking putts right-handed, and left-to-right-breaking putts left-handed. Begay is the first top player to use such a technique and putter.
Begay is a full-blood Native American; who is one-half Navajo, one-quarter San Felipe and one-quarter Isleta. He graduated from Albuquerque Academy in 1990 and earned a bachelor of science degree in Economics in 1995 from Stanford University.
Begay was named one of Golf Magazine’s Innovators of the Year in 2009 and has also been named one of the Top 100 Sports Educators in the world by the Institute for International Sport. He owns a golf course development company, NB3 Consulting, and works with Native American communities to develop world-class golf properties.
Begay suffered a heart attack in 2014, while practicing on the putting green at Dallas National Golf Club. He was quickly taken by ambulance to Dallas’ Methodist Hospital and a stent was placed in his right coronary artery.
Notah Begay III Foundation
In 2005, Begay established the non-profit Notah Begay III Foundation. The immediate goal of the foundation was to provide health and wellness education to Native American youth in the form of soccer and golf programs. The broader purpose of the foundation was to stand as a catalyst for change in the Native American community. On August 26, 2008, the foundation hosted the first Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, a skins golf match to raise money for the foundation. The five players for the tournament were Begay, Stewart Cink, Vijay Singh, Camilo Villegas and Mike Weir. On August 24, 2009, the foundation hosted its second annual Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino.
Amateur wins (1)
this list may be incomplete
- 1995 Northeast Amateur
Professional wins (5)
PGA Tour wins (4)
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of victory||Runner(s)-up|
|1||Aug 29, 1999||Reno-Tahoe Open||−14 (70-69-63-72=274)||3 strokes||Chris Perry, David Toms|
|2||Oct 10, 1999||Michelob Championship at Kingsmill||−10 (67-70-69-68=274)||Playoff||Tom Byrum|
|3||Jun 25, 2000||FedEx St. Jude Classic||−13 (66-69-67-69=271)||1 stroke||Chris DiMarco, Bob May|
|4||Jul 2, 2000||Canon Greater Hartford Open||−20 (64-65-67-64=260)||1 stroke||Mark Calcavecchia|
PGA Tour playoff record (1–0)
|1||1999||Michelob Championship at Kingsmill||Tom Byrum||Won with par on second extra hole|
Other wins (1)
- 1998 New Mexico Open
Results in major championships
|The Open Championship||T20|
CUT = missed the half-way cut
“T” = tied
|The Open Championship||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||1|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 4 (2000 Masters – 2000 PGA)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 1
U.S. national team appearances
- 1998 Nike Tour graduates
- 2006 European Tour Qualifying School graduates
- 2008 PGA Tour Qualifying School graduates
- Official website
- Notah Begay III at the PGA Tour official site
- Notah Begay III at the European Tour official site
- Interview with The Times (UK)
- Notah Begay III Challenge