Jhonattan Vegas might get his shot at hitting a jackpot after all this year.
Vegas, whose ailing left shoulder hasn’t helped him build on his big-bang PGA Tour start as a rookie last year, got bumped out of the FedEx Cup playoffs in the final week of regular-season qualifying this year. He was 120th on the FedEx Cup points list going to the Wyndham Championship but missed the cut and tumbled to 126th, missing a chance at the playoffs’ jackpot by one spot.
With a 6-under-par 65 in Thursday’s start of the Frys.com Open, Vegas got himself in early position to try to add to his maiden Bob Hope Classic victory a year ago. He followed up that 65 with a 67 on Friday and is tied for second place, four shots behind leader John Mallinger.
With an old shoulder injury flaring up, Vegas has managed just two top-10 finishes this year. He tied for seventh at The Players Championship and tied for fourth at the AT&T National. His next best finish is a tie for 27th at the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Vegas rested his shoulder after Wyndham, not teeing it up again until last week’s Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, where he tied for 46th. He is 112th on the PGA Tour money list.
“Out of those five weeks, I took four off trying to let the shoulder heal and recover,” Vegas said. “It's feeling better, not quite as good as I'd like it, but definitely that's helped.
“I think I pushed it a little too hard at the beginning of the year, and I was behind the eight ball the whole time. So it's good to get a few weeks off, get some rest and get recovered. The rest is really helping right now.”
Vegas, 28, said he first hurt his shoulder while playing at the University of Texas.
“I hurt it working out,” he said. “For some reason, I haven't really been able to heal it completely. The good thing is that I am able to play; I just feel that my golf swing is not the same. I can't turn to the ball as good as I used to.”