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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Meet Jhonattan Vegas

If you watched any of Golf Channel's coverage of the Hope on Wednesday, you may have seen Jhonattan Vegas chip in at the 13th on PGA West Palmer Course. Since Jhonattan is T2 after the first round, I thought some of you might want to know a bit about this rookie.

Photo of Jhonattan Vegas from PGATOUR.com

Jhonattan Vegas attended the University of Texas, but he's originally from Maturin, Venezuela. He got his Tour card via the Nationwide Tour, where he won the 2010 Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open on his way to finishing 7th on the money list. Here are a few interesting facts about him:
  • He was a semifinalist at the 2007 U.S. Amateur in San Francisco.
  • He turned pro in 2008 and joined the Nationwide Tour in 2009.
  • He and Alfredo Adrian represented Venezuela in the 2009 Omega Mission Hills World Cup, finishing tied for 12th place.
  • He's the first Venezuelan ever on the PGA Tour.
  • He finished T57 at the Sony last week which means that although he didn't get to play the weekend because of the shortened field, he did make the cut. Not bad for his first start as a rookie.
Obviously he doesn't have much up in the way of stats so far, since he's only got two rounds of stats on his bio page this year... but his Nationwide stats are still up, and you might find them very interesting. Especially his Driving Distance of nearly 313 yards! (That's Garrigus territory.)

His GIR of 73% and Total Putts of 29.65 should both stand him in good stead if he keeps them up this year. Granted, his two rounds at Sony aren't enough to make any solid predictions, but Waialae is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. Jhonattan averaged just under 299 on his drives, almost 78% in GIR, and 32.50 putts per round. I'd say that's pretty good for a rookie in his first tournament on a tough course.

Jhonattan is one of those guys who always seems to have a smile on his face and seems truly grateful for where he is and what he's achieved. I had a lot of fun watching him on the Nationwide last year, and I suspect he'll be just as much fun to watch on the PGA Tour. Keep an eye out for him this week.

The photo is from PGATOUR.com.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info. I had to search the web hard to learn who this rookie was leading one of my fav tournaments.

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  2. Jhonattan appears to be a nice addition to the PGA Tour. Worth keeping an eye on this young man as he continues to develop his skills and gets to know all the new tracks in his first year on the Tour.

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  3. His play so far this year has certainly made me look like a genius for focusing on him. He seems to be picking up on all these new courses quite well!

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  4. Jhonattan has already made golf more popular with the Venezuelan community in Miami. I work with a guy from Venezuela who knows nothing about golf. I told him a few months ago that his home country would have their first representative on the PGA Tour for 2011 season.

    Guess who is glued to the television this weekend? He said he is having people over to watch the weekend rounds. I hope Jhonattan doesn't disappoint, but at the very least he has sparked an interest for the game. Maybe some youngster at that party will be inspired to start swinging the clubs.

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