Notah Begay is making his debut on the PGA Tour Champions this week at the Constellation Furyk & Friends tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, and he may also have an additional hidden agenda.
While he’s looking forward to testing himself against the best on the over-50 circuit, he also admitted there was a secret mission he had voluntarily undertaken.
“I’m the scout,” Begay said about playing the PGA Tour Champions. He’s checking things out for Tiger Woods.
"“I’m going to scout it out and then get back to him with all the intel. I’m sure it’s something that he may want to do down the road,” “I’m going to speak very highly of it. He would be great for this tour.”“I know that if you just look at the metrics that are related to his golf swing in terms of clubhead speed, ball speed, his ability to execute golf shots, it’s still all there,”"
Begay said about Tiger Woods.
Great is an understatement. In its favor, carts are regularly allowed on PGA Tour Champions, something that would perhaps allow Tiger Woods to be the one to break Hale Irwin’s record of 45 victories.
Notah Begay made headlines a few weeks ago by saying that he believed Tiger Woods still wanted to break Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour victories.
Tiger Woods and Snead are currently tied at that number.
Not only does he believe Woods wants to break the record, he intimated that under the right circumstances, it could happen.
“I know that if you just look at the metrics that are related to his golf swing in terms of clubhead speed, ball speed, his ability to execute golf shots, it’s still all there,” Begay continued. “Walking 72 holes in a competitive environment, that’s the big question mark.”
Begay will see Tiger Woods in person at the Hero World Challenge which he will work for NBC, his other day job.
“We may see a late-minute introduction of a cart rule, that would be great, so may be the pseudo-champion, the pre-champions event out there,” Begay predicted.
And in fact, Casey Martin, once on a Stanford golf team with Begay and Woods, fought for the right to use a cart in PGA Tour events due to a disability with his leg. The case went to the Supreme Court, and Martin won based on ADA laws. So, should Woods elect to use a cart, Martin has already paved the way.
"“With everything that’s gone on and how he’s really stood up on behalf of the players and the Tour, I don’t think we would begrudge him a whole lot of anything these days,”"
Begay added about whether other golfers in the field would object to Woods’ use of a cart.
Tiger Woods struggled to walk the tough hills of Augusta National last spring, and there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that he will likely do it again this year. But flatter courses are better for him than hilly ones.
“Golf’s not the question to me. The heart’s not the question,” Begay said. “It’s just a matter of physically can he endure that much stress on the leg.”
If Notah Begay’s prediction is right, we may find out in a couple of months just how far Woods’ recovery has progressed.
“It will just be another chance for us to see how far he’s come,” Begay noted.