Lost Vegas in remarkable last-minute dash to Carnoustie

Lost Vegas in remarkable last-minute dash to Carnoustie

Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas was all smiles when he began his first round at the 2018 Open Championship - but not for the reason you might think.

"Even though the journey seemed really insane and frustrating at times, I just thought someone was really playing a joke on me", Vegas said. "Last Thursday I was supposed to travel here, get here by Friday morning, have a few days to kind of adjust to the time and all that stuff".

Vegas is playing his second Open.

With no options, he hopped in a helicopter from Glasgow to Carnoustie, arriving less than an hour before his tee time. As long as I had a shot at making it, I was going to go forward.

In an attempt to resolve the issue, his new passport was held up and then bad weather delayed his connecting flight from Houston to New York City on Tuesday afternoon. And then he learned he had applied for the wrong visa, delaying the process more. He had never seen the course.

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"I called my caddie, 'Man, scramble some clubs, whatever you can find".

It all started last Thursday, when he realized he'd read the dates on his visa incorrectly and discovered it was out of date. I mean, I waited - I literally waited in a vehicle in front of the consulate in Houston for seven hours, hoping for that visa to show up that day. "If they don't, it's going to be hard to play good".

"So I went Wednesday morning, got it, got on a flight from Houston here through Toronto, and I got my agents to give me a helicopter ride from Glasgow here".

"I hit about 20 balls. I wouldn't miss it for anything".

Impressively, Vegas, the world No 80, managed to record a par on the 1st before tiredness, his ill-suited clubs and a lack of preparation led to a five-over-par round of 76. "We fixed it and I was supposed to be in Houston on Tuesday morning to be here Wednesday", said Vegas, who missed the cut on his British Open debut at Royal Birkdale previous year.

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