published Monday, September 19th, 2011

Begay, Barron set to join Classic field

The Chattanooga Classic’s name was changed this summer to Children’s Hospital Classic to assist the charity for the Nationwide Tour golf event.

Tournament director Mickey McCamish said its two sponsor-exemption participants are loaded with charity experience.

The headliner is Notah Begay. The other is Doug Barron.

“These are two fine golfers with both experience on the golf course and countless hours of experience in charity work,” McCamish said. “With a change in direction of the tournament, Notah and Doug were both very appealing to the committee.”

Begay is known for being the descendant of Pueblo and Navajo parents, winning a national championship at Stanford — where he and Tiger Woods were roommates — and remaining friends with Woods through his off-course ordeals. He was on the Walker Cup team as an amateur and the Presidents Cup team as a PGA Tour member.

He also heads the Notah Begay III Foundation, which is an expansive charity assisting children living in New Mexico and on American Indian land.

“It’s great to have somebody with his name recognition,” McCamish said. “He is the biggest name we’ve had at this tournament.”

Barron is most known for a boo-boo. He was the first player suspended by the PGA Tour for violating its performance-enhancing drug policy in 2009 — high testosterone.

“I’m the Doper Man,” the 42-year-old Barron joked. “I was diagnosed with low testosterone when I was 35. People kid me all the time. Lots of guys on tour have the same problem. Hopefully, because of me, they’ll get the right treatment.”

Barron, who lives in the Memphis area, has been steadfast in his assistance to charities across the nation, including his own tournament set up to raise funds for a Memphis hospital.

“He made a mistake and has since corrected himself from that,” McCamish said. “Doug has been involved in a series of hospital visits. And he will be in charge of organizing our visit to the Children’s Hospital.”

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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