Begay turns the corner

Former Jailbird and Convicted drunk driver Notah Begay III wins the FedEx St Juse Classic to turn his year around...

Begay turns the corner

American Indian Notah Begay III won his third PGA tour title after pipping Bob May and Chris di Marco by one shot at the FedEx St Jude Classic.

It was Begay's first victory since he spent seven days in jail last March for a drunken driving conviction. But now the former room-mate of Tiger Woods has turned the corner from his dark past and is back in the winners circle.

"After going through my personal ordeal earlier in the year, you never know if you're ever going to return back to form," an emotional Begay said. "To be able to get back into contention for me was great ... especially when it was nip and tuck the last two, three holes is very refreshing and lets me know I'm back to playing good golf again."

Begay persevered despite finding himself in trouble on the one hole he knew he needed to birdie if he wanted to win.

His second shot on the par-5, 528-yard 16th found the rough right of the green, about 20 yards from the hole. Begay pulled out his lob wedge and went right at the hole, landing the ball within 3 feet for his successful birdie attempt.

"I play to win, and that's the bottom line," said Begay, who survived a shootout that had five golfers within two strokes of his lead with four holes left. "That was the only shot I had. I needed to make four or at least have a putt at four. I wasn't into finishing in the top 10."

Begay, who finished with a 13-under-par total of 271, said he needed the birdie on the easiest hole to allow him to play conservatively on the toughest two holes at the Tournament Players Club at Southwind.
May called Begay's chip "world-class."

"That's something you see Mickelson hit. He didn't have much green to work with, with it sloping away from him. I was looking up and I saw the ball land. I thought this thing needs to bite, and it did. The next bounce it stopped on a dime," May said. "It would've been easy to go over the other side."

Begay had struggled through the early part of this year following his arrest for drunken driving in the USA.
The man who earned more than $1.2 million as a rookie last year finished tied for fourth at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February. But he had missed five cuts in his 10 tournaments since then. His best finish was a tie for 15th at the MCI Classic in April and he was 22nd in last week's U.S. Open.

Begay's younger brother, Clint, began caddying for him a month ago, and that has made a big difference. Begay said he's having much more fun even though his brother doesn't help with yardages or read most putts.

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