Notah Begay III, the first Native American to compete on the PGA Tour and in the Presidents Cup, has been named captain of the U.S. Junior Presidents Cup team, the Presidents Cup and American Junior Golf Association announced on Wednesday.
The event will be contested for the third time on Sept. 19-20 at Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, prior to the start of the 2022 Presidents Cup at nearby Quail Hollow Club.
Begay, a four-time PGA Tour winner and an Albuquerque native, was a member of the victorious 2000 U.S. Team and earned a 3-2 record at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club.
An on-course reporter and analyst for Golf Channel and NBC Sports, Begay is in San Antonio, Texas, for the Valero Texas Open.
He told the Journal in a phone interview that he had been in discussion with the Presidents Cup and AJGA for the past couple of months to become the U.S. captain for the junior team. When he was first approached, he was surprised, yet excited for the opportunity, he said.
“It’s something that in relation to what I’m doing now in the junior golf space with our national junior event, our NB3 Fit Junior Golf Program, we just have a mission to make golf more accessible to everyone; this will help me do that,” Begay said. “To get to work with the finest junior golfers in the United States is going to be a great experience.”
Junior golf is a high priority for Begay, who is also the host and founder of the Notah Begay III Junior National Championship, which provides an additional avenue for juniors to compete with other top talent from around the country.
With his work as a TV golf analyst and his junior golf tour, Begay remains in high demand, but he jumped at the opportunity to be the U.S. Junior Presidents Cup captain.
“It’s important to me also to keep representing our state,” said Begay, who was recently inducted into the 2022 class of the National Federation of State High School Associations National High School Hall of Fame for his achievements at Albuquerque Academy and his pro career. He calls Albuquerque home. “The work that we do in New Mexico is critical.”
Begay competed in AJGA events as a junior golfer from 1987-89. He was named a Rolex Junior All-American in 1987 after winning two AJGA tournaments at the Southwestern Junior and the Meridian Junior Classic. He also had two top-15 finishes in 1988 and 1989 before going on to win a national championship at Stanford, where he was a teammate with Tiger Woods.
The Junior Presidents Cup is a two-day, team match-play competition featuring 24 of the world’s top junior boys 19 years old and younger – 12 from the United States and 12 from around the world, excluding Europe – that takes place just days before the start of the biennial Presidents Cup.
The teams will compete in six four-ball and foursomes matches on Sept. 19, followed by 12 singles matches on Sept. 20. South Africa’s Tim Clark was named captain of the International team.
“As a player it was special to represent my country at the Presidents Cup, so to now be asked to captain the junior team is truly an honor,” Begay said in a release. “This event is a wonderful chance to showcase the next generation of stars at golf’s highest level. Every one of these kids wants to play on (the tour), so my goal is to be a resource for them not only in preparation for their matches but also as they look toward a future in the professional game.”