Insights: PGA TOUR Q-School


Interview with PGA Golfer Jhonattan Vegas


November 2009


Jhonattan Vegas

Jhonattan Vegas is from Venezuela and began playing golf with a broomstick and a rock, and eventually began playing on a nine hole golf course built for oil camp employees. Jhonattan went to Tour Q-School in 2008 and played on the Nationwide Tour in 2009. He competed in two PGA TOUR events as well in 2009. Jhonattan's best finish in 2009 was a tied for 4th at the Nationwide Tour's Preferred Heath Systems Wichita Open. Jhonattan also ranked 3rd in driving distance on the Nationwide Tour for this year.



Q: Tell us a little about tour Q-school and what it means to you. 


A: Q-School is the most pressure I have ever felt on a golf course. It is the qualifier where you are playing for your spot in one of the main golf tours for the following year and you want to make sure you play well. It is a qualifier that only comes once a year and because of that the pressure is so high. I totally felt it last year (2008). But at the same time it is one of the most exciting qualifiers to compete in because only the players who can handle the pressure move on and are able to make it all the way through to the last stage.  It is a confidence booster for those who make it. 



Q: Will you be in tour Q-school this year? 


A: Most likely I’ll be playing Q-school this year, but I’m looking at it as an opportunity to improve for 2010 instead of a very difficult qualifier. I think now after a year as a professional I’m a little more prepared for it and I am hoping to play better this year.



Q: What stage are you playing in?  Which course? 


A: I think I’ll be playing in the second stage in Houston at Deerwood Golf Club because it is a course that I have played many times and I feel comfortable playing that course.



Q: How many years have you played on the PGA TOUR?  How many years have you played in Q-school?


A: This is my first year on the Nationwide Tour, so I’ve been through Q-school only once but I have learned a lot from it. Being on the Nationwide Tour has prepared me more for Q-School and having a better goal.



Q: How do the results of this tournament affect your golf career?


A: It doesn’t affect it too much. I see Q-school as just an opportunity to reach to my goal, which is to get to the PGA TOUR. So, if I don’t achieve it, I try to find other ways to reach my goal. 



Q: When playing in a tournament which determines so much, what helps you to stay calm and focused?


A: During golf tournaments the main factor for staying calmed and focused is not worrying about the score and just trying to hit the best shots possible for 72 holes and then finding out how well I did. And the most important part is to have as much fun as I can and no matter what, always have a good attitude towards the game.



Q: What is the biggest challenge you must overcome when competing in tour Q-school? 


A: The biggest challenge that we must overcome when competing in Q-school is not thinking ahead of ourselves and taking it one day at the time and enjoying it as much as possible. Because a lot of us just get thinking so much of how big Q-school is that we never play to the level we are always used to playing.


Q: What advice would you give to an aspiring golfer who dreams of playing golf for a living?


A: The advice that I would give an inspiring golfer would be to practice as much as he or she can. Because when we think we are practicing hard, there is always someone practicing harder and getting better than us. That’s all it takes to reach our potential.



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