Begay elated that Tigers coming to town

By Associated PressJuly 6, 2009, 4:00 pm
VERONA, N.Y. ' Notah Begay III was nearly at a loss for words.
I am humbled, Begay said Monday in announcing that Tiger Woods, his former roommate at Stanford University, would play in a skins game in August to benefit Native American children. You come up with certain ideas and sometimes they come true. Part of what I learned at Stanford is that you try and create win-win situations, and this is a win-win for everybody. What a testament to our foundations work.
Woods, who originally agreed to play last year but had to pull out after undergoing knee surgery, has rarely played in charity events like this. He will be competing against Begay, Mike Weir, and Camilo Villegas on a layout hes never played, Atunyote (uh-DUNE-yote) Golf Club. The course, one of three at Turning Stone Resort and Casino, also hosts a PGA Tour event.
The inaugural NB3 Challenge in 2008 was the foundations first national event and raised nearly $200,000. Begay, the only full-blooded Native American on the PGA Tour, said he expects this years competition to net between $600,000 and $800,000.
Its the Tiger factor, he said.
Begay said only 3,000 tickets would be sold, partly for security reasons. It will not be televised, but Begay said he would explore the possibility of having the players miked so fans can hear their banter.
We want it to be intimate, he said.
The Notah Begay III Foundation, established in 2005, seeks to reduce diabetes and obesity among Native American youth.
The event is a collaboration between Begay, the Oneida Indian Nation of New York, and the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians of California. It also presents an opportunity for the Oneidas to showcase the three championship golf courses the resort has built.
Having Woods in the field is a major breakthrough.
I was celebrating, said Ray Halbritter, chief executive officer of the Oneida Indian Nation of New York and a driving force in developing Turning Stone into one of the nations top golf attractions. I couldnt believe it, really. I just hope we can make the course hard enough for him.
Last year, Villegas won a chip-off against Weir, Begay, Vijay Singh, and Stewart Cink to walk away with top money of $220,000. Singh donated $80,000 of the $180,000 he won. Cink also won a hole, but Weir and Begay were shut out.
Begay said he would do his best to keep Woods at bay.
Im not going to give him any tips, Begay said. If a putt breaks left, Im going to say it breaks right.
The total purse will remain at $500,000. A year ago, the first six holes were worth $10,000 apiece, the second six $20,000, holes 13 through 17 $50,000 each, and No. 18 $70,000.
It was difficult to score a skin last year despite picture-perfect August weather with temperatures in the mid-70s. When Villegas hit a 250-yard fairway shot to within a foot of the pin at the par-5 fifth hole to set up an easy eagle, Weir ified it with an 18-foot eagle putt.
With Woods competing, Begay said one thing would change.
Its going to be me, Mike and Camilo against Tiger, Begay said, smiling. Mike and I got shut out last year and I dont want that to happen again. If we have to resort to tackling him, we will.
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.