Vegas' visa expired the same day he was set to travel to the UK
He arrived for his tee time with two hours to spare
The 1986 film “Clockwise” starring Monty Python actor John Cleese tells the story of a clock-watching headteacher’s journey to chair an important conference thwarted at every turn.
Golfer Jhonattan Vegas has found himself in a similar time loop over the last week.
He was supposed to arrive at Carnoustie last week in preparation for the British Open. Instead, he arrived by helicopter just two hours before his tee time Thursday on little sleep and without his golf clubs.
“As long as I had a shot of making it, I was going to go for it,” Vegas said after his round, in which he shot a five-over-par 76.
“Playing this even feeling awful feels good. I’m sure if you tell anyone in the world, hey you can have the chance to win The Open Championship even if you show up two hours before tee time, everyone in the world would take it.”
Vegas, who was born in Venezuela and now lives in the US, learned that his visa had expired the same day he was supposed to travel to the UK.
He tried to expedite the visa renewal process, but that got delayed. Then there were flight woes. Vegas said in a tweet Tuesday that because of weather in New York, he might need to find another flight.
Ultimately, Vegas flew from Houston to Toronto and then to Glasgow, Scotland. From there, he took a helicopter to Carnoustie, arriving around two hours ahead of his tee time.
But there was another hurdle. His golf clubs didn’t make it on the journey, forcing him to scramble to find another set to use in the first round.
“Even though the journey seemed really crazy and frustrating at times, I just thought someone was really playing a joke on me,” Vegas said.
Vegas estimates his travels to get to Carnoustie took about 14 hours, and he slept just two hours during his travel. Luckily, he says, he has a late tee time on Friday so he can catch up on sleep.
“Hopefully my clubs will show up,” Vegas said. “That’s the main thing. If they don’t, it’s going to be hard to play good.”