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Deep Thoughts With Jhonattan Vegas

Photo: Robert Seale / SI

Vegas, who calls Torrey Pines South his favorite track, tied for third at the Farmers in 2011 and finished 11th this year.

The vibrant Venezuelan, 30, sounds off on the Hollywood star he most admires, being simpatico with a fellow Longhorn and why a career on the diamond would have been his Plan B.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen on a golf course?

Last year I was playing with Daniel Summerhays at the John Deere Classic, and he hit this shot on the 5th hole that he pulled way left. It hit the scoring tent, bounced through the rough and rolled up on the green, then dropped in the hole [for an eagle]. It was one of the most incredible shots I’ve ever seen, especially for a miss.

Who would play the lead role in the movie about Jhonattan Vegas?

I like Jamie Foxx as an actor. He’s fun, and I think he has some of the character that I have: always having a good time. I really like [his] movie Ray. That was such a great performance.

Do any guys on Tour remind you of a younger version of yourself?

Yeah, I think Jordan Spieth does. He’s here just to do his thing. He’s a guy who fights on the course but likes to have a good time and relax away from it. He kind of reminds me of how I felt when I came on Tour.

At what point did you realize you could make a living playing golf?

I don’t think there was a certain moment. Golf has always been something that I’ve completely enjoyed doing. It’s always been super fun for me. The older I got the more of a career it became, but it has still always been a fun adventure.

Where do you like to go on vacation?

I love the beach. I’ll find a place with a good beach and warm water and try to spend as much time in it as I can. I like swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, anything where I can be in the water.

If you could play only one course for the rest of your life, which you choose?

Definitely Torrey Pines. It’s the kind of course where I’ve always felt very comfortable. I love the scenery.

If you weren’t a golfer, what would you be?

I’ve always been a good athlete, and I love baseball. So I probably would have been a baseball player, especially coming from a country like Venezuela that has produced a tremendous amount of great baseball players.

Do you have a favorite baseball team?

In the U.S. I follow all the good teams. I love the Venezuelan players. But I like the Detroit Tigers; they’re good every year. I’ll always root for them, but I like the game in general.

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