Begay has been hampered by a lower back injury he incurred in December 2000 as a result of physical training. The 29-year-old played in only 12 events this year, missing eight cuts.
It was hard for me to sit out (PGA) Tour events because I knew that the fundamentals of my golf game were actually better than they were my first two seasons on tour, said Begay in a statement.
The injury prevented me from playing the kind of golf that I proved I could play in 1999 and 2000. Consequently, I believe it best for me to focus my efforts on a rigorous rehab and practice regimen to ensure that I am prepared for the 2002 PGA Tour season.
Begay took three extended periods of time off during the season, and last played at the Air Canada Championship at the start of September.
A former college teammate of Tiger Woods at Stanford, Begay has four career PGA Tour victories ' two in 1999 and two in 2000.
Begay capped his 2000 season by compiling a 3-2 record in the Presidents Cup. Thanks to his victories last year, he is exempt on Tour through the 2003 season.
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