CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (Reuters) - Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas was involved in a late helicopter dash on Thursday, arriving at the British Open with barely an hour to spare for his 10.31 (0931 GMT) tee time after experiencing a remarkable tale of woe.
Firstly, the triple PGA Tour winner did not realise his visa had expired until he was ready to leave the United States.
After obtaining the necessary documentation, Vegas had to take the last possible flight that would get him to Carnoustie on time, but the story did not end there.
He boarded the plane without his golf bag and, following a helicopter ride from Glasgow Airport to the east coast of Scotland, a new set of TaylorMade clubs had to be found for the start of his round.
Vegas’s frantic late arrival at golf’s oldest major clearly unsettled the player as he opened his campaign with bogey fives at the second and third holes.
The 33-year-old is playing in the British Open for the second time, having missed the cut on his debut appearance at Royal Birkdale last year.
Vegas’s playing partner Tony Finau flew out of the traps on Thursday, birdying two of the first three holes as the American moved to two under, two strokes behind early clubhouse leader Erik van Rooyen of South Africa who posted a 67.
The other member of the three-ball, American Xander Schauffele, was level-par.
Editing by Clare Fallon