(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.”
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)