Native youth golfers qualify for Jr. National Championship at NB3 golf tournament
Three Navajo youth qualify for inaugural golf tournament held by Notah Begay III Foundation
Updated as of Tuesday, August 11, 2020 11:22 AM
SANTA ANA PUEBLO, N.M. — Over 30 Native youth golfers ages 8-18 competed in the NB3 Foundation Inaugural All-Native National Youth Golf Tournament Aug. 3-4 at the Santa Ana Golf Club, Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.
Three have qualified to play on the national stage in the Notah Begay III Junior Golf National Championship at Kosati Pines at Coushatta in Kinder, La. in November.
“I am proud of the youth, families and coaches who participated in our inaugural event. Despite the set-back with COVID-19, we were honored to host a top-notch event for Native youth and to continue to provide them with opportunities for their future,” said Justin Huenemann, president and CEO.
Skyler Woods,14, Shandiin Harper, 17, and Zachary BlueEyes, 13, all representing the Navajo Nation, won their respective age divisions securing themselves a spot to play in the national event Nov. 15-17 that will be aired on Golf Channel.
“I’m definitely super excited and ready to go,” said Harper when asked about qualifying for the national tournament. Harper is from Farmington, N.M. and currently plays golf for Piedra Vista High School.
BlueEyes, from Kirtland, New Mexico said he had some ups and downs throughout the tournament, but he still managed to hold steady lead in the 13-and-under boy’s division on both days.
“I played good. Some holes I did bad, but I shook it off and just played on and tried my best,” he said.
Woods, winner of the boys’ 14-18 age division, plays golf for Kirtland Central High School in Kirtland, New Mexico. Woods said despite having a rough back nine on the last day, he’s glad he was able to pull it off and come out with the win.
Looking forward to playing in Louisiana for the national championship, Woods said, “I’m excited to play on a new course that’s really nice.”
“It was great to see Native youth of all ages come out to play in this event,” said Clint Begay, director of NB3FIT. “Our Native communities put out some really great golfers. It’ll be awesome seeing our Native youth represent and compete on the national stage in November.”
Because of state travel restrictions with COVID-19, the event was only open to Native youth residing in New Mexico. However, the hope is by next year youth from all around Indian Country will be able to travel to play in the NB3 Foundation All-Native National Youth Golf Tournament.
Information provided by the NB3 Foundation