Enjoying the Masters, with a job to do

Originally Published: April 6, 2011
ESPN.com

Masters rookie Jhonattan Vegas will be sharing his experiences at Augusta National this week on ESPN.com.

ESPN.com: After playing practice rounds with Masters champions Angel Cabrera and Ben Crenshaw, what did you learn from them?
Vegas: To be able to play with two former champions is definitely something that helps. I learned a lot about the short game from Ben and gained a lot about the greens and how to play around the greens. Angel showed me how the power game plays around the course. They are two champions with two different types of games and have won with two completely different ways of playing golf.

ESPN.com: How many practice rounds did you play here before this week?
Vegas: I had a chance to come up here two weeks ago after Doral. I spent two days here playing the course and really starting to get a feel for the course. It really gave me time to develop my game plan for tournament week with time to prepare.

ESPN.com: What was the Par-3 Contest like, with your mom as your caddie?
Vegas: To have my mom on the bag was a lot of fun. The whole Par-3 experience is really great and something that is really part of what makes this week so special. Seeing fathers, mothers and kids out there on the Par-3 course makes for a fun experience.

ESPN.com: Can you explain what it was like driving down Magnolia Lane this week and playing through Amen Corner?
Vegas: Driving down Magnolia Lane two weeks ago was such a fun experience, but this week it is certainly a different experience. With all of the traffic on Washington Road and then just behind the gates, it is like a different world when you turn down Magnolia Lane. Amen Corner was so quiet when I was here before, but this week it has so much energy that is different from anywhere else I have ever played.

ESPN.com: What has been your favorite part of the week so far?
Vegas: So far this week & I think that just being here at the Masters and playing in my first major is the favorite part. I had a chance to come as a spectator once before, but to now be playing is a different feeling when you are inside the ropes. The entire experience to this point has been so amazing, as everyone at Augusta National looks out for every detail possible.

ESPN.com: Who is here with you this week?
Vegas: I have a lot of support here this week. My parents, my brother, my American family (Dick and Melissa Kemp), my instructors (Kevin Kirk and Franci Betancourt), my girlfriend, my caddie, my managers from Blue Giraffe, lifelong friends and other sponsors. We have a couple of houses and a large van to get everyone around Augusta! We have been able to have big dinners together and they have followed practice rounds and the Par-3. Everyone is sharing in the experience of this week, but they respect that I still have a job to do on the course. I have everyone who is part of Team Vegas here this week, and I know that they will be supporting me from outside the ropes every step of the way, as they always have.