May 11 2011
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM Site Producer
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Jhonattan Vegas is quickly discovering that life on the PGA TOUR, especially when you play well, involves a lot more than what goes on inside the ropes. It’s been a tough adjustment for the rookie.
“It’s been pretty overwhelming to be honest,” said Vegas, who is playing in his first PLAYERS Championship this week. “There’s so much that I had to deal with that I wasn’t prepared for at all, but it’s been great. That’s part of being on the PGA TOUR, going through that learning process.”
Sine finishing in the top 20 in four of his first six starts this season -- one of which included his win at the Bob Hope Classic and a tie for third at the Farmers Insurance Open -- Vegas has struggled. He’s missed four of his last five cuts and in the one he didn’t miss finished in a tie for 44th.
Of course winning in just his second start also makes life a lot easier for the popular Venezuelan. He doesn’t have to worry about his card for the next two years and it’s also put him in some pretty illustrious pairings that have included, among others, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
“That was a great experience playing with [Tiger],” said Vegas, who was paired with and outplayed Woods during the third round at Torrey Pines. “That pretty much tells you what the PGA TOUR is all about, when Tiger’s around.”
As for Vegas’ whirlwind schedule, the near future includes the Volvo Match Play Championship in Spain, the Memorial tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance and then hopefully the U.S. Open.
First, however, Vegas will focus on playing here.
While it’s Vegas’ first time in the field for THE PLAYERS, he has played the Stadium course before. After missing the cut at last year’s Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open on the Nationwide Tour, played at Dye’s Valley course, Vegas stuck around and played the Stadium course.
“I feel really comfortable playing this course,” Vegas said. “And hopefully I’ll have a good week.”