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January 21, 2011

Jhonattan Vegas


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Jhonattan Vegas to our interview area. Jonathan one of the several Nationwide Tour graduates and PGA TOUR rookies who are playing extremely well this week. Another good day for you over at SilverRock, 5-under 67. Talk about just the round and how it went, I also noticed that you were perfect on fairways again 14 of 14.
JHONATTAN VEGAS: Yes, it was definitely a great round today. I just wish I would have made a little more putts. It was probably the best ball striking round out of all three. I hit the ball beautiful. I hit it to about 15 feet a bunch of times, just wasn't able to make it as many times as I wanted.
But overall it was great, I feel really comfortable, I've been playing really well and playing comfortable on the course and just excited with the way things are going right now.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Did you have a short birdie putt on 18?
JHONATTAN VEGAS: I had like a 4-footer left-to-right that I missed. Just had a few of those that I wish I would have made, to make the round even better, but it was a solid round, I'm happy with where I am right now, and two more rounds to go and we just got to keep playing hard.

Q. No nerves waking up this morning going, oh, my gosh, I'm leading?
JHONATTAN VEGAS: No. No. If it's something that I do well, it's sleep.
(Laughter.) Yes. And leading a golf tournament is not going to cut into my sleep. But it's always fun. You always feel excited about leading a tournament and especially a PGA TOUR event for the first time and so I'm just having a good time, enjoying it, just having fun.

Q. Is all white your idea or did Nike give you that?
JHONATTAN VEGAS: No, it was kind of my idea. I just kind of felt it today and we went for it.

Q. Did you feel, was the putting something that bothered you from the start today or has it been a probably all week?
JHONATTAN VEGAS: No, I felt great with my putting. That's the rare thing that I felt really comfortable with the putter in my hand and today it wasn't the same way. But that's just part of the game and things don't, are not the same way every single time, so you just got to deal with it and keep trying hard.

Q. This is an unfamiliar position, a little bit, how do you handle the next couple days? Do you know how to be a leader in a tournament?
JHONATTAN VEGAS: I had a chance to do it a little bit on the Nationwide Tour, which I think helped me a lot to prepare for this. Yes, I'm just going to just keep doing what I've been doing, have fun and only God knows what's going to happen, so I'm just going to keep trying my best and hopefully with the best results.

Q. Same question I asked yesterday, I'll probably get the same answer, you're going to a golf course you've never played competitively tomorrow, La Quinta, how much of that did you get to see before the tournament began?
JHONATTAN VEGAS: I had a great practice round on La Quinta. I just went there, spent a good amount of time practicing on that course, which I feel really comfortable. That's a course that you really have to strike the ball well on and I've been able to do that so far right now, and I'm excited, it's just, it should be a fun course, it's really challenging and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. Gary Woodland is making a little bit of a move and he's a guy known for hitting it very far. Have you ever played with him, ever completed with him?
JHONATTAN VEGAS: No, not at all. I just heard he hits it pretty far. So it will be fun. It will be really interesting, but we'll we still got another day tomorrow before Sunday, so we just got to worry about that and play well and make some birdies.

Q. Have you heard from your fans from Venezuela?
JHONATTAN VEGAS: I've heard a, lot to be honest. Like I said, everyone has been waiting for this for a long time, especially people that know about golf, even the media, which is great, they're really interested in showing the results, so, yes, I got a lot of friends there that love golf and that support me and that I heard a lot of from them.

Q. You say the media, how much golf is in the newspapers? They have guys who specialize or is it just part of the sports page?
JHONATTAN VEGAS: They have guys that know some about golf. I wouldn't say that they specialize in golf like you guys. But they know a lot about golf. And through the years they have been doing a little bit better and now that I became a professional I think I've been in contact with them and they have been getting a lot better with the knowledge and what's happening and all the stuff. So they're covering the tournament really well, and people told me that they have told me there that it's every where, so that's good.

Q. Does a win make you as popular as one of those shortstops that come out of there?
JHONATTAN VEGAS: I don't think so. We're far away from that.

Q. How have your amateur partners been this week and today are they a little nor nervous playing with the leader or do you hear anything?
JHONATTAN VEGAS: No, they were great actually, they have been great all week. They have been fun. It takes quite awhile to play 18 holes, and you really have to stay patient, you really have to hit a shot and then start doing something else to not worry about the next shot because it just takes so long between one shot to the other. But it's just part of the golf tournament. It's what makes this tournament so great and I'm loving it. I did it for two years on the Nationwide Tour, playing some pro-am tournaments, and I think it prepared me for this kind of stuff. So I'm just having a good time and trying to enjoy the game as much as I can with them.

Q. In the notice that came out they talk 2009 you led Wichita, shot a bad round, last year you were close and played a good round to win at Wichita. In those two events did you learn something about leading from playing poorly in 2009 and well in 2010?
JHONATTAN VEGAS: Yes, I definitely learned a lot. It was huge. That 2009 year when I got beat when I was leading by two shots I think I went into Sunday trying to be a little too protective, just trying not to make mistakes, which, as you all know, I mean it's a huge mistake here. And so that, I learned a lot from that. I put myself in position a few times during that 2009 season, which I think it helped me a lot for the 2010 season and then last year I was close a lot going into Sunday and I just, just by being able to have that experience? 2009 I was able to play a lot better the last year. So I think that that's different from the PGA TOUR, obviously, but it's something that you get and it teaches you for the next experience.

Q. How do you compare yourself to Tiger Woods?
JHONATTAN VEGAS: Oh, man, I'm a long way from that. But I don't know, just hit the ball forward like he does and play the same courses sometimes that he does. So I don't know what to say.

Q. Are you going to Torrey Pines?
JHONATTAN VEGAS: Yes, I am. I'm excited, I heard that he was going to be there, so first tournament with Tiger around, so we'll see what I can learn from him.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Jhonattan, thank you. Play well tomorrow.
JHONATTAN VEGAS: Thank you, guys.

End of FastScripts

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