Jhonattan Vegas never had any issue qualifying for this week’s 147th Open Championship. The first Venezuelan to win on the PGA Tour punched his ticket to Carnoustie in 2017 as one of the 30 players to have advanced to last year’s Tour Championship — he also would have earned a spot because he was a member of the 2017 Presidents Cup International team.
However, if his qualification for the Open was routine, his literal journey to Scotland was anything but. With his last PGA Tour event being the Travelers Championship three weeks ago, Vegas didn’t realize that his United Kingdom travel visa had expired until July 12th, the day he was supposed to depart for Europe.
That face when you realized you visa to the UK is expired the same day you were supposed to travel. La cara cuando te das cuenta que tu visa al Reino Unido está vencida el mismo días que viajas. ??????? pic.twitter.com/lztAcLUNN0
— Jhonattan Vegas (@JhonattanVegas) July 12, 2018
Able to expedite his visa renewal, Vegas had to overcome not only the initial roadblock, but a courier error and bad weather in New York, which forced him to fly from Houston to Toronto to Glasgow in the last 24 hours. Landing in Glasgow around 8:45 a.m. local time and with a 10:31 a.m. tee time, Vegas took a helicopter from Glasgow to Carnoustie, arriving on the property just 45 minutes before his tee time.
As if that weren’t enough, Vegas’ clubs were lost in the midst of the travel nightmare and he showed up to the range to find his caddie with a new set of clubs still in their protective plastic that were made to his specs by Mizuno and TaylorMade.
Jhonattan Vegas had travel document issues trying to get to the Open. He arrived this morning by helicopter but his clubs didn’t make it. He’s on the driving range taking the plastic off the new clubs he’ll use while his caddie scrambles to find the essentials to put in the…
— Michael Collins (@ESPNCaddie) July 19, 2018
“Everything seems to be against me,” Vegas said two days ago. “This is going from bad to worse, but I will do everything to get to my tee time.”
He was able to make his time and play in his second Open Championship, but with new clubs, little sleep, no practice rounds and a whole lot of stress to get there, how he performs will be worth watching.
“Practice?! Practice?!” Vegas said on Thursday morning. “Who needs practice?!”
Vegas documented the last 24 hours from Houston to Carnoustie on his Instagram story.