Today: 20.08.2018
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The British Open round from hell started in a different country.

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Jhonattan Vegas took “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” to the extreme en route to his 10:31 a.m. (Scotland time) tee time in the opening round of the British Open on Thursday at Carnoustie. Vegas, who’s from Venezuela, had visa problems, faced several road blocks getting to Scotland and ended up arriving to Carnoustie...
Time: 13:50     Date: 19.07.2018
Last US Sport News: The British Open round from hell started in a different country. NY Post 24 - US News

Vegas, who’s from Venezuela, had visa problems, faced several road blocks getting to Scotland and ended up arriving to Carnoustie at about 9 a.m. Thursday to register and get to the first tee. His clubs, however, did not arrive with him.

Vegas, ranked 80th in the world and playing in his second British Open, played with a mixed set of clubs that was hastily assembled for him before his tee time. Though he plays Titleist irons, he ended up using Mizuno irons, TaylorMade woods and a TaylorMade putter.

“I literally called my caddie 2 1/2 hours before my tee time to start scrambling some clubs together,” Vegas said.

After sleeping two hours on his 14-hour trek to Scotland, Vegas ended up shooting a 5-over 76.

“Not ideal,” Vegas said. “But it was fun. Even though the journey seemed really crazy and frustrating at times … I just thought that somebody was really playing a joke on me. I mean, it couldn’t be that way just how everything just got interrupted on the way.”

Jhonattan Vegas, with his caddie, on the course during the British Open on ThursdayReuters

Vegas was scheduled to fly to Scotland on July 12 but realized his visa to travel there was expiring that day. After it took some time to get his visa sorted out, Vegas’ route to Carnoustie was a flight from Houston to Toronto, then Toronto to Glasgow then a helicopter Thursday morning to Carnoustie, about an hour before his tee time.

“To me, it almost seemed like it was a horror movie happening for the past week,” Vegas said. “Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose, I think you couldn’t really do it. 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.

“So I look at my visa, and I got really confused with the dates. I’ve been living in America, I guess, for too long, and I got used to kind of just see the dates flipped, which wasn’t that big of a deal because I could have gotten a visa in 24 hours.

“So I decided to go on Thursday morning, apply for a visa. For some real reason, the people at the consulate in New York decided not to respond to the application. It was a weekend, so they responded on Monday morning, saying that I applied for the wrong visa. There’s tons of things you can apply for. So it was the wrong visa.

“We fixed it on Monday, and I was supposed to be in Houston on Tuesday morning to get our flight and be here Wednesday, which still gives me a day to at least see the golf course, which would have been nice. But that didn’t happen. I got the reply, but that day something happened with UPS in New York that the whole UPS shut down. So the visa never left New York until late that day. I literally waited in a car in front of the consulate in Houston for seven hours, hoping for that visa to show up that day. It never did.

“I grabbed the clubs, went out and hit about 20 balls. Luckily, they were going forward, which was nice. Gave it a try. I was 5-over. I was actually 1-over through eight holes, and I was feeling good because the course is really giving me a great feel. Then I decided to start hitting the driver and bad things started happening with that shot. It didn’t really fit. So I got a few bogeys and shot 76.

“But at the end of the day, I gave it a try. I wouldn’t do it every single day. It’s fun playing here. It’s fun playing majors, fun playing the Open. This is my second one, so I wouldn’t really miss it for anything.”

Vegas said his clubs never left Toronto for Glasgow, saying, “Hopefully, they’ll show up [Friday] morning. I don’t know when. It would be nice to have them [Friday].”

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