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Notah Begay III

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Notah Begay III
Begay in 2011
Personal information
Full nameNotah Ryan Begay III
Born (1972-09-14) September 14, 1972 (age 51)
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight195 lb (88 kg; 13.9 st)
Sporting nationality United States
CollegeStanford University
Turned professional1995
Current tour(s)PGA Tour Champions
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Nationwide Tour
European Tour
Professional wins5
Highest ranking19 (August 20, 2000)[1]
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour4
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentT37: 2000
PGA Championship8th: 2000
U.S. Open22nd: 2000
The Open ChampionshipT20: 2000

Notah Ryan Begay III (born September 14, 1972) is an American professional golfer. He is one of the few Native American[2] golfers to have played in the PGA Tour.[3] Since 2013, Begay has served as an analyst with the Golf Channel and NBC Sports.[4]

Amateur career


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. He was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity (Alpha Omega Chapter) while at Stanford. After graduation, Begay turned professional in 1995.

Professional career


Nike Tour


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.

PGA Tour


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.

Personal life


Begay is a Native American of the Navajo, San Felipe, and Isleta people. He graduated from Albuquerque Academy in 1990 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics in 1995 from Stanford University.[5] His first name in the Navajo language means "almost there."[6] His grandfather, Notah Begay, was a code talker.[7]

On January 19, 2000, Begay was arrested for what he admitted, in court, was actually his second DUI incident. He was sentenced later that month to 364 days in jail with all but seven days suspended.[8][9]

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.[citation needed]

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.[5]

Begay is the uncle of Madison Hammond, who in 2020 became the first Native American soccer player to play in the National Women's Soccer League. Hammond cited Begay as one of her inspirations.[10][11]

Businesses and Organizations


NB3 Consulting


In 2002, Begay founded NB3 Consulting, which consults with tribal communities looking to build golf courses for the purpose of economic development. Notable courses the company has built includes Sequoyah National, Firekeeper Golf Course, and Sewailo Golf Club.[12]

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.

KivaSun Foods


In 2010, Begay founded KivaSun Foods, selling various bison-based products. In 2015, the company won a contract to have 520,000 pounds of bison distributed through the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.[13]

Amateur wins (1)


this list may be incomplete

Professional wins (5)


PGA Tour wins (4)

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 Aug 29, 1999 Reno–Tahoe Open −14 (70-69-63-72=274) 3 strokes United States Chris Perry, United States David Toms
2 Oct 10, 1999 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill −10 (67-70-69-68=274) Playoff United States Tom Byrum
3 Jun 25, 2000 FedEx St. Jude Classic −13 (66-69-67-69=271) 1 stroke United States Chris DiMarco, United States Bob May
4 Jul 2, 2000 Canon Greater Hartford Open −20 (64-65-67-64=260) 1 stroke United States Mark Calcavecchia

PGA Tour playoff record (1–0)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 1999 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill United States Tom Byrum Won with par on second extra hole

Other wins (1)


Playoff record


Nike Tour playoff record (0–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 1998 Nike Lehigh Valley Open United States Eric Booker Lost to birdie on ninth extra hole

Results in major championships

Tournament 1999 2000 2001
Masters Tournament T37 CUT
U.S. Open CUT 22 CUT
The Open Championship T20
PGA Championship 8 CUT
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 1
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 1
Totals 0 0 0 0 1 3 8 4
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 4 (2000 Masters – 2000 PGA)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 1

Results in The Players Championship

Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
The Players Championship CUT CUT CUT T56 CUT

CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Results in World Golf Championships

Tournament 1999 2000 2001 2002
Match Play
Championship T46 NT1
Invitational T17 T31 T52

1Cancelled due to 9/11

  Did not play

"T" = Tied
NT = No tournament

U.S. national team appearances




See also



  1. ^ "Week 33 2000 Ending 20 Aug 2000" (pdf). OWGR. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  2. ^ PGA Tour Media Guide profile
  3. ^ "Native American Golfers Competing at Golfweek's National Pro Tour Event". NDNSPORTS. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  4. ^ Hiestand, Michael (February 26, 2013). "Notah Begay now walking the course for NBC". USA Today.
  5. ^ a b "About Notah". Archived from the original on April 19, 2014.
  6. ^ Farrey, Tom (June 3, 2000). "OTL: Notah Begay's long walk". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  7. ^ Kimball, George (July 6, 2000). "Time in jail made a golfer of Notah". The Irish Times. Retrieved November 14, 2023.
  8. ^ "Begay Sentenced For Driving Drunk". The New York Times. Associated Press. January 26, 2000. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  9. ^ "Begay Begins Serving Sentence". The New York Times. Associated Press. February 29, 2000. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016.
  10. ^ Hamlin, Steven (October 22, 2020). "Following Her Milestone, Madison Hammond Wants to Inspire the Next Generation of Native American Athletes" (Press release). National Women's Soccer League. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  11. ^ Lawrence, Andrew (May 17, 2023). "'We have to be more than athletes': inside the women's US soccer league". The Guardian. Retrieved May 17, 2023.
  12. ^ "About us". nb3-genevacreative. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  13. ^ "2016 Hot List: Native Businesses". Ict News. Retrieved April 27, 2020.