Notah Begay III

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Notah Begay III
Personal information
Full nameNotah Ryan Begay III
Born (1972-09-14) September 14, 1972 (age 47)
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight195 lb (88 kg; 13.9 st)
Nationality United States
CollegeStanford University
Turned professional1995
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 the only full-blood Native American[2] golfer on the PGA Tour.[3] Since 2013, Begay has served as an analyst with the Golf Channel and NBC Sports.[4]

Amateur career[edit]

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.

Professional career[edit]

Nike Tour[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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.[3]

In January 2000, Begay was arrested for what he admitted, in court, was actually his second DUI incident. He was sentenced to 364 days in jail with all but seven days suspended.[5][6]

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.[3]

Notah Begay III Foundation[edit]

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)[edit]

this list may be incomplete

Professional wins (5)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (4)[edit]

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 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(s) Result
1 1999 Michelob Championship at Kingsmill United States Tom Byrum Won with par on second extra hole

Other wins (1)[edit]

Results in major championships[edit]

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

U.S. national team appearances[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Week 33 2000 Ending 20 Aug 2000" (pdf). OWGR. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  2. ^ PGA Tour Media Guide profile
  3. ^ a b c "About Notah". Archived from the original on April 19, 2014.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Begay Sentenced For Driving Drunk
  6. ^ Begay Begins Serving Sentence

External links[edit]