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September 30 2011

1:47 AM

Vegas gets it rolling in Vegas

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Co-leader Jhonattan Vegas had a great day on the greens despite two three-putts.
By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM There are still 54 holes to play at TPC Summerlin, but first-round co-leader Jhonattan Vegas had to know the question would come. What else would you expect with the golfer they call "Jhonny Vegas" atop a leaderboard in Las Vegas? “It would be really good to win,” he said. “This could be really fun because, you know, winning in Vegas, last name Vegas. It could be really, really fun … Three more rounds, I have a long way to go. I just have to keep playing hard and hopefully it will turn out great.” Great is one word to describe the day Vegas had. The rookie from Venezuela carded 10 birdies at TPC Summerlin as he got to the clubhouse ahead at 8 under (he was later caught by fellow rookie William McGirt). Vegas, who ranks 156th on the PGA TOUR in Strokes Gained - Putting needed just 27 putts on Thursday. That number is made more impressive when you consider his two three-putts. “I feel like I'm hitting the ball absolutely great, and I proved it to myself today,” Vegas said. “The two greens I missed today, I missed by probably half an inch. Just putting from the fringe, I three-putted both times, which was kind of ironic. Just golf; it is what it is. You have to stay positive, and the more positive you can be, the better you'll be out there.” Vegas has never been better. Thursday’s 63 was the lowest round of his PGA TOUR career. The former Texas Longhorn who is known to flash a smile as big as the Lone Star State had much to smile about after his start at TPC Summerlin. “It was a great round, what can I say?” Vegas said. “I mean, it was pretty much from the get-go, it was great. I feel like I'm hitting the ball absolutely great, which is something fun to do. But the main thing was I made a lot of putts today.” Vegas will hope his hot putter can help him put heat on the field as it also battles the early autumn heat in Las Vegas. Temperatures are expected to climb into the upper 90s as this week’s event progresses. “I grew up in Venezuela, which was always hot,” Vegas said. “I don't really mind the heat, but you have got to be careful. You have to really protect yourself. You have to drink a lot of water, wear sunscreen, do all of that stuff and stay as cool as you can. But it doesn't bother me much. I would actually rather have this kind of heat than be in a bit of cold.” Vegas's first round scorecard:
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