Some pros like to arrive in the United Kingdom more than a week ahead of the British Open, adjusting to time differences and learning the course’s quirks. Jhonattan Vegas, on the other hand, arrived mere minutes before his tee time. Nothing like getting in under the wire, right?
Planes, passports, and helicopters
Vegas has been suffering through a week-long saga to get to Carnoustie for the Open, starting with the head-slamming news that his visa was expiring the same day he was supposed to travel:
That face when you realized you visa to the UK is expired the same day you were supposed to travel. La cara cuando te das cuenta que tu visa al Reino Unido está vencida el mismo días que viajas. 😡😡🤬🤬🤬😡😡 pic.twitter.com/lztAcLUNN0
— Jhonattan Vegas (@JhonattanVegas) July 12, 2018
Vegas is a native of Venezuela, which means a visa is necessary to travel to the United Kingdom. That set off a cascade of bureaucratic and logistical nightmares: Vegas’s visa application suffered delays, and then his connecting flight into New York had its own problems. “Everything seems to be against me,” Vegas said Tuesday. “This is going from bad to worse but I will do everything to get to my tee time.”
No clubs, no problem
He finally arrived in Glasgow, Scotland, early Thursday morning, but there was another problem: his clubs hadn’t shown up. Of course.
With no options, he hopped a helicopter from Glasgow to Carnoustie, arriving less than an hour before his tee time. (Vegas’s timely arrival surely came as a disappointment to Adrián Otaegui, the Spanish golfer who was the next alternate in line to play had Vegas not arrived.) No clubs, no look at the course, no problem.
As Golfweek noted, his caddie and others had put together a set of Mizuno irons and TaylorMade woods. Vegas swung the clubs for the first time with barely 40 minutes to go until his 10:31 a.m. local tee time.
“I’m going to go out there and play with freedom,” Vegas told Golf Channel as he tested out his new clubs. He managed a par on his first hole, but bogeyed the second and third. But just making it to the course had to count as something of a victory.
Vegas ultimately finished 5-over.
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