Picked up the game by playing with a broomstick and a rock. Eventually began playing at a nine-hole course near his home built for oil-camp employees.
Was a standout third baseman as a junior baseball player.
His coach, Franci Betancourt, was a a three-time World Cup participant for Venezuela in 1966, 1968 and 1975.
Knew very little English when he initially arrived in Houston.