(Reuters) - Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela capped a sensational six-hole stretch with an ace on his way to an 11-under-par 60 on Friday that threatened to turn the Barbasol Championship in Alabama into a rout.
Vegas, who shared the overnight lead with two-times major winner Angel Cabrera of Argentina at six-under, started at the 10th and played holes 12 through 17 in eight-under, including an eagle-three at 13 and a hole-in-one at the 213-yard 17th.
"It was just incredible, to the point where I almost thought I was sleeping," Vegas said about the dream stretch of holes. "Stretches like that, it's hard to imagine happening."
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As the elite field at the British Open were battling rain and high winds and scores were soaring at Royal Troon, the 31-year-old Vegas, ranked 240th in the world, tore up the RTJ Trail Golf Course in Opelika near Auburn University.
The Venezuelan made the turn at eight-under 28 and despite a lone bogey on his second nine he closed with two more birdies for his 60 and a 17-under 125 total.
That gave Vegas an early six-shot lead over American Hudson Swafford, who shot a 63 for 11-under 136.
First round co-leader Cabrera had a late tee time.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Andrew Both)