Begay wins PGA tournament
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JUNE 26, 2000

Notah Begay III, the 27-year-old Isleta Pueblo / Navajo golfer from New Mexico, won his third career PGA Tour title on Sunday.

His victory at the St. Jude classic in Memphis, Tennessee guarantees him a seat at the 101st US Open. He'll compete at the event in Tulsa, Oklahoma next year against former Stanford University teammate and longtime rival Tiger Woods, who won the 100th Open in Pebble Beach, California on June 18.

Begay's victory comes as he has been trying hard to improve his game this season. The win is his first since last October's Michelob Championship.

On Sunday, Begay posted a two-under-par 69 for a 72-hole total of 13-under 271. He had a one-stroke victory over challengers Chris DiMarco and Bob May.

May was predicted to be the winner of the tournament as it began on Saturday. He had a one-stroke lead over Begay after the third round.

But May lost the lead with the resumption of playing on Sunday.

Begay's victory also comes after his highly publicized battle with alcohol abuse. After spending a week in jail for a drunk driving incident in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Begay has spent time education young Native children on the dangers of alcohol.

"That's one of the most unfortunate results of everything that's transpired in the last two months," Begay said of the incident in March. "I regret it because I let a lot of people down. I hope it's just a blemish on what's going to be a very successful career."

With $540,000 firmly in his pocket after Sunday's win, Begay is scheduled to compete in a PGA tournament in Connecticut later this week. He's also headed to London, England, where he will attempt to qualify for the British Open at St. Andrews, Scotland, to be held in July.

Related Stories:
Begay happy with performance (Sports 06/20)
Begay tries to improve (Sports 06/14)

Relevant Links from PGATour.Com:
Final scores and earnings FedEx St. Jude Classic
Stats and Bio