One of the surprise success stories of 2011, Jhonattan (pronounced Jonathan) Vegas is the first golfer from Venezuela to compete in the Masters Tournament. Winning the Bob Hope Classic in only his second stint as a full-time member of the PGA Tour, the 26-year-old has a powerful game and charismatic personality, making him a popular player both in his native country and to U.S. golf fans. Jhonny Vegas, who did not make the cut after shooting a two-day 4-over 148, shared his rookie Masters experience with The Augusta Chronicle:
It was good, man. Playing in the Masters, it's as good as it gets for professional golf. Unfortunately, things didn't go my way today. I just didn't play good and I just couldn't get anything going.
I just made bad mistakes, bad decisions out there and I paid for it, which you do here. But it was a great experience. I loved it. Hopefully we'll be here next year and be a little bit better.
Anytime you finish with a birdie, it doesn't matter what else happens -- it's a good feeling. We just got to keep playing, keep getting better and, you know, hoping for the best.
It's so good to have that support because this sport can get a little lonely. To have that support around could be a boost of energy, to keep playing and keep playing hard. So that was great.
I had my family around, which was fun seeing them walking around. I wish I could have played a little better, but this is golf. This is the way it goes sometimes, and you take it as it goes.
It was just being out here the whole week and just experience playing the Masters. It's so fun walking this course, hitting some of the shots here, and Amen Corner. Like I said, the whole week was just a plus. It was a great experience.
They're the same way. I was talking to my dad and he said, "It's just being here." It's an honor and a pleasure and we're loving it.
It's the first time the Venezuelan flag is here, so that's pretty neat. People are really excited and I'm sure they wish I would have played a little bit better to have two more days of me here, but hopefully we'll be here again.
You got to be on top of your game to come here. You can't come here wishing to have it go your way.
You have to come here and be prepared, and you got to play your butt off to shoot a good round here.
I'll keep playing. I'm playing next week and I'll keep getting the experience of being on tour and learning.