Vegas takes advantage of sponsor exemption into Frys


NAPA, Calif. – Relying on sponsor exemptions and limited status as a past champion, Jhonattan Vegas realizes one week can change his entire PGA Tour season.

He’s playing like it, too. 

Vegas, who entered the Tour Championship on the bubble but missed the cut (and a shot at his card), is tied for second after two rounds of the Open. He bogeyed the last, a par 5, to sit at 9-under 135, two shots behind Brendan Steele.

“The good thing about the PGA Tour is that it gives you chances, and you’ve got to focus on playing golf,” he said. “You’ve got to take advantage of a week like this. When you know you have to play well, you have to do your best.” Open: Articles, photos and videos

Vegas won the Tour stop in Palm Springs in 2011, but in recent years he was bothered, and eventually sidelined, by a shoulder injury.  

This past season he had only one top-25 in 27 events and finished outside the top 150 in FedEx Cup points, which sent him to the Tour Finals. He narrowly missed earning his card, meaning that he will play on Tour this season through sponsor exemptions – earned through phone calls and letters – and past champion’s status, which is low on the priority list.

“It takes a good week to get the whole season started,” he said. “If I start here with a good week, I could get the whole year rolling the way I want.”