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AUGUSTA, GEORGIA Notah Begay, whose tireless passion, commitment and advocacy for the health and well-being of Native American youth led to the founding of the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation in 2005, is the recipient of the Golf Writers Association of America's Charlie Bartlett Award.
Past Tour Win
Begay, who had a busy weekend as a Golf Channel announcer at the 76th Masters Golf Tournament, was given the award at the Golf Writers Association of America's dinner last Wednesday evening.
The award, named for the first secretary of the Golf Writers Association of America, is given to a professional golfer for his/her unselfish contributions to the betterment of society.
The 39 year old Begay, who is half Navajo, one quarter San Felipe and one quarter Isleta and the only full blooded Native American to play on the PGA Tour, founded the NB3 Foundation to battle the epidemic of childhood and Type 2 diabetes and obesity among Native American children. A four-time winner on Tour, Begay has raised more than $3.23 million in three years through this annual NB3 Foundation Challenge Golf Event to support the foundation's programs.
In the last three years, the NB3 Foundation has touched more than 10,000 Native American children in 11 states through soccer, golf, health and wellness and grant programs. The largest grant assisted the San Felipe Pueblo (NM) to build the tribe's first recreational facility a community park and soccer field, which is home to the San Felipe Soccer Club, another NB3 initiative.
Begay was also instrumental in building partnerships with two American Indian tribes the Oneida Nation of New York and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians to sponsor the NB3 Challenge which has served as the largest one day fundraiser benefitting Native American youth.
Begay, who also has a course design firm named NB3 Consulting, has an Economics degree from Stanford and, in addition to his four Tour wins, was a member of the 1995 Walker Cup and 2000 Presidents Cup teams.
Begay is in good company of great golfers who have won the award. He follows Lorena Ochoa in 2011; Ernie Els in 2010; Tiger Woods in 2007; Greg Norman in 2008 and Jack Nicklaus in 2009 as recent recipients.
Other former Bartlett winners include the Louisiana trio of Hal Sutton, David Toms and Kelly Gibson, Val Skinner, Betsy King, Tom Watson, Payne Stewart, Tom Lehman, Arnold Palmer, Kenny Perry, Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade, Patty Berg and Andy North.
The nearly 900 member professional organization takes an active role in protecting the interests of all golf journalists, works closely with all of golf's major governing bodies and the World Golf Hall of Fame.
posted April 9, 2012 6:00 am edt
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