Jhonattan Vegas, UT Alumni, is having an amazing rookie season notching his first career win earlier this year at the Bob Hope Classic and is currently ranked 33rd in the FedEx Cup standings. The next challenge starts on Thursday as Vegas tees it up at his first PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
Vegas seems to have a calm, yet naturally excited demeanor while preparing for the PGA's final major championship this week. "It should be fun. Playing long courses is always fun for me but on major championship courses it is all about making putts and getting it up and down at the right times. Hopefully I will be ready for it tomorrow," said Vegas in an interview with Reuters. Striping the ball long down the fairway is something Vegas is accustomed to, ranking 15th in driving distance on the tour this year. He is going to need every bit of this power as the AAC is playing at 7,467 yards making it one of the longest courses for a major in PGA history.
His golf partners include Ernie Els and Anthony Kim as part of the 1:05pm (EDT) grouping. Although Els and Kim have not played up to their potential thus far in 2011 this should be a fun group to watch. If Vegas can keep his putter in line he could play well into the weekend and hopefully be in contention come Sunday.
Groups to watch
- 7:55 am Ryo Ishikawa, Matteo Manassero, Adam Scott - Can Scott follow up his impressive victory at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational with his first major win and what will Steve Williams say this week?
- 8:15 am Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, David Toms - Big names we all know and love. Toms won the last PGA Championship played at AAC back in 2001. That year's runner-up? Phil Mickelson.
- 8:35 am Padraig Harrington, Davis Love III, Tiger Woods - No matter how poorly Woods has played over the past year, there is still an interest to see him make a comeback as the Tiger of old.
- 1:45 pm Darren Clarke, Rory McIlroy, Charl Schwartzel - The tour's major winners this year. Good buddies McIlroy and Clarke playing side by side should be entertaining. We could see these two playing together all 4 rounds if they play anything like they did during their major victories.