What happens with Vegas, doesn't stay with Vegas
Jhonattan Vegas' abilities on the golf course became apparent when at age 17 he claimed medalist honors in a tournament in South America.
Actually, the first hint of his golfing acumen came when he was 2, hitting golf balls with a small set of plastic clubs.
That talent matured and came into fruition during his UT career as Vegas had a pair of top 10 and four top 30 finishes in 2006. In fact, he posted the third-lowest stroke average for the Horns last season.
Last summer, the senior captured the Venezuelan National Amateur Championship in his native country.
Off the course, Vegas has a first-place finish as the Male Student-Athlete of the Month for December.
"Jhonattan's overall improvement on the course and in the classroom is directly attributable to his sense of personal responsibilities for all of his actions," said Dr. Mike Sanders, who is Vegas' academic counselor.
"He views his academic pursuits in the same way as he competes in a tournament -- preparation and diligence," Sanders continued. "A general kinesiology major, Jhonattan is respected by his teammates and classmates. He is a person seen by them as someone you can count on."
Vegas left Venezuela for Houston in 2002 and had to overcome a language barrier as he worked hard to learn English. He, likewise, worked hard on his golf game, qualifying for the PGA Tour's Houston Open.
That caught the eye of Texas golf coach John Fields, who offered Vegas a scholarship.
"It's been an incredible journey," Vegas said. "I've been able to manage school and golf and have had a very good time. I'm looking at finishing my last year strong -- on and off the course."
Sanders expects nothing less of Vegas.
"There always are adjustments to be made by student-athletes in new environments and challenges," Sanders added.
"Jhonattan truly has overcome these challenges and his ultimate goal of graduation and successful career transitioning will only give further evidence to his sense of commitment and responsibility."