Vegas nearly misses tee time and arrives without clubsJuly 19, 2018
Imagine nearly missing your tee time for the Open. Then realising you don't have any clubs. Equipment editor James Savage takes a look at one of the most bizarre Open preparations in history...
Open preparations don’t get much worse. Jhonattan Vegas had been at loggerheads with the transport office earlier this week after finding out his visa had expired.
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
He’d been stuck in Houston desperately trying to make it to Carnoustie for his 10.31am tee time on Thursday.
Even after sorting the visa, he then had courier and weather issues to content with.
Everything seems to be against me to get my visa and make @TheOpen. First, @UPS mechanical problem and passport is running late and second, weather thru NYC and flight is delay. Probably need to find another flight. ?????????????
— Jhonattan Vegas (@JhonattanVegas) July 17, 2018
The Venezuelan finally managed to get things sorted and was on a flight to Glasgow, via Toronto, which touched down less than two hours before he was due to tee off with Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele.
He travelled from Glasgow to Carnoustie by helicopter, as you do when you’re a successful tour pro.
— Jhonattan Vegas (@JhonattanVegas) July 18, 2018
But just when Vegas, a three-time PGA Tour winner, though his luck was in, it turned out his golf clubs had not made it to Scotland.
It resulted in him and his caddie rushing around the practice ground putting together some Mizuno, Titleist and TaylorMade clubs for him to use.
Luckily Mizuno, with whom he has a contract to play their irons, had a spare tour bag available.
Quickest I’ve fitted 2 clubs ever!2 shots?, Next club,change loft change lie…hits a shot which I missed & clubs already back in the bag!? https://t.co/8ufO5fcCEt
— Adrian Rietveld (@Adrianrietveld) July 19, 2018
Vegas managed about 20 minutes of practice before going on to shoot a four-over par 75.
All things considered, it could have been a lot worse.
After 6 days to get a visa to the UK, 2 hours of sleep in 30 hours, clubs not showing up and playing with clubs I had never seen before, so as painful as all of that might sound it was all worthy teeing it up @theopen. So, thanks to everyone that gave me a hand to get here today. pic.twitter.com/oAK8Jt0JWZ
— Jhonattan Vegas (@JhonattanVegas) July 19, 2018
Sandy Lyle’s putter is the wrong way round
Lyle hit the opening tee shot of the 147th Open Championship looking like he’d just raided the merchandise tent.
In fairness to the 1985 Champion, who is possibly playing in his last Open, he is an honorary member of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
And his caddie for the week, James Bunch, is a fellow R&A member so why wouldn’t they be keen to show off some of the official gear?
What made less sense to me was the back-to-front ‘ugly duckling’ putter he had in play.
Sandy Lyle’s ‘ugly duckling’ putter is actually back to front. It’s like he’s using a left-handed putter. Or using a right handed putter the wrong way round. Too early for this. #TheOpenpic.twitter.com/dpXC9TlggW
— James Savage (@JamesSavageNCG) July 19, 2018
Lyle was level par through 12 holes but he finished bogey, bogey after a double on the par-3 13th. He’s four over for the tournament.
Nike turn nasty
We saw some pretty shocking efforts from Nike at the US Open last month but these latest offerings are just nasty.
See what I did there? If you’re still struggling, let me explain.
Carnoustie is a notoriously difficult golf course and has earned the nickname Car-nasty.
So Nike have kitted many of their top players, like Rory McIlroy and Paul Casey with shoes which say ‘nasty’ on the bottom.
See what they’ve done there?