Monday, December 8, 2008
Final round 67 for Notay Begay III earns him a PGA tour card while Alex Aragon will have non-exempt status on Nationwide Tour
Two Stanford graduates, Notah Begay III ('95), 4-time tour winner, and Alex Aragon ('01)competed in the PGA Tour's final stage of qualifying at PGA West in La Quinta, California.
Begay fired a 5-under 67 (the low round on the tougher PGA West Stadium course) to tie for 11th and earn his PGA Tour card once again. Showing a flare for the dramatic, Notah birdied 3 of his last 4 holes to move 2 shots under the cut line. His last two rounds of 63-67 (14-under par) were the best in the field of 163 players. Alex Aragon shot a final round 71 to tie for 87th place, leaving him with non-exempt status on the Nationwide Tour. PGA Tour story on Begay's qualifying tournament.
Final results can be found here.
Notah's brilliant 63 in the next to last round (see Golf Week article) jumped him into contention as he is tied for 21st after rounds of 72-70-69-71-63 (-15). Begay plays on the tougher PGA West Stadium course in the final round and will likely need to shoot 69 or lower to gain one of the 25 exempt PGA tour spots.
Alex faces a much tougher challenge to make the low 25 but is in the hunt for an exempt spot on the Nationwide Tour earned by the next 50 qualifiers. Aragon sits tied for 89th at 8-under par after rounds of 71-67-74-72-68. He will likely need a 68 or better to make the Nationwide Tour or a 62 to make the PGA Tour in his final round.
A field of 163 players are competing for 25 exempt spots on the 2009 PGA Tour, with the next 50 players receiving full exempt membership on the Nationwide Tour. The remaining players will have conditional status on the Nationwide Tour. Begay is one of field's 20 players who have won a total of 48 events on the PGA Tour.
The final stage is held over 6 days and 108 holes and is considered the most grueling test in golf.