Camilo Villegas

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Camilo Villegas
— Golfer —
Camilo Villegas, Open 2008.jpg
Personal information
Full name Camilo Villegas Restrepo
Born (1982-01-07) 7 January 1982 (age 32)
Medellín, Colombia
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 160 lb (73 kg; 11 st)
Nationality  Colombia
Residence Gainesville, Florida
Jupiter, Florida
Partner Maria Ochoa Mora
Career
College University of Florida
Turned professional 2004
Current tour(s) PGA Tour (joined 2006)
Former tour(s) European Tour
Professional wins 9
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 3
Japan Golf Tour 1
Other 5
Best results in Major Championships
Masters Tournament T13: 2009
U.S. Open T9: 2008
The Open Championship T13: 2009
PGA Championship T4: 2008

Camilo Villegas (Spanish pronunciation: [kaˈmilo βiˈʎeɣas]; born 7 January 1982) is a Colombian professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour.

Early years[edit]

Villegas was born in Medellín, Colombia, and took up golf as a child. After several different National Junior Championships in Colombia in the ages between 8 and 15, at 16 he became the first player in Colombian golf history to win the Amateur's Grand Slam in the same year: The National Junior Championship (stroke play), the National Junior Championship (match play), the National Amateur Championship, and the Colombian Open in the amateur category. Then, in 2001, he became only the second player to win the Colombian Open as an amateur. His success in Colombian golf throughout the 1990s earned him the distinction of "Player of the Decade" issued by the Colombian Golf Federation.

College career[edit]

Villegas received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Buddy Alexander's Florida Gators men's golf team in National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) competition from 2001 to 2004. As a freshman in 2001, Villegas was a member of the Gators' 2001 NCAA championship team. During his college golf career, he was the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Freshman of the Year in 2001, the SEC Player of the Year in 2002 and 2004, and an All-American four consecutive years (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004).[1] Villegas graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 2004.

Villegas is known for his commitment to physical fitness, and says his mentor and inspiration is golf icon Gary Player. They have just starred together in a new MasterCard "priceless" commercial.

In the June 2006 issue of Golf Digest, he was named "the sexiest player on tour, Tiger Woods included."[2] He has also gained notoriety for sporting flashy dress clothing by designer J. Lindeberg.

An alumnus of the University of Florida, Villegas frequently visits the University's Mark Bostick Golf Course when he is spending time at his residence at Gainesville, Florida.

Professional career[edit]

Villegas began playing on the PGA Tour in 2004 and earned his PGA Tour card just prior to the 2006 season. He had a blistering start to his 2006 rookie year on tour, with two second place finishes and a third place (at The Players Championship) in his first nine events. He missed making the 2006 Masters Tournament in his rookie year by a single position on the Official PGA Tour Money List (11th). However, he made his first Masters' appearance in 2007 by finishing in the top 40 of the Official PGA Tour Money List for 2006. He qualified for the 2008 Masters through his exceptional play during the inaugural FedEx Cup playoff system, that included an opening round 63 (8 under par) at the Deutsche Bank Championship and three straight top 10 finishes. He entered the FedEx Cup playoffs in 52nd place and improved to 28th place through his play in the first three events, thus qualifying for the 30-man field at The Tour Championship in Atlanta, Georgia, where he finished in the top 10 for the third straight week and finished 24th on the FedEx Cup points list.

Villegas won his second professional event at the Coca-Cola Tokai Classic on the Japan Golf Tour in September 2007. By doing so, he earned ¥24,000,000 (approximately US$208,272). He shot a score of 282 (−2) and defeated Toyokazu Fujishima in a playoff by draining a 20 foot putt on the winning hole.

In 2006 Camilo signed an endorsement deal with Red Bull, and has represented the energy drink company since then as their sole PGA Tour golf athlete.

Villegas won his third professional event at the TELUS Skins Game in June 2008 where he defeated a field that included Greg Norman, Colin Montgomerie, Mike Weir and "Mr. Skins", Fred Couples. Villegas took six skins for $130,000 with a short birdie putt on the 14th hole, and then won an additional four skins for $100,000 in a playoff, which was decided with a closest-to-the-pin shootout from 130 yards out on the 18th hole.

Villegas recorded a record-breaking second round in the 2008 Open Championship. He shot 65, which was the lowest score for any Open Championship second round at Royal Birkdale. He started off with two bogeys but ended with five consecutive birdies which put him at 5 under for his round.

Villegas won his first PGA Tour title in September 2008, winning the BMW Championship by two shots over Dudley Hart. For the last 44 holes of the tournament, Villegas did not three putt, one-putting 27 of those last 44 holes. This victory took him to a career high of 18th in the Official World Golf Rankings.[3]

Villegas followed his BMW Championship win with a victory in The Tour Championship. He beat Sergio García in a playoff, having trailed by five shots going into the final round. The win took Villegas to number seven in the Official World Golf Rankings[4] and established him as the highest ranked golfer from South America. He finished the season 7th on the PGA Tour money list.

In late 2008 Villegas joined the European Tour, making his first European Tour appearance at the 2008 HSBC Champions, the first tournament of the 2009 season. However he will continue to play predominately in the United States. He had no victories in 2009 but had five top-10 finishes and ended the season ranked 45th on the PGA Tour money list and in the top 30 of the European Tour's Race to Dubai.

He has spent over 30 weeks in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Rankings since 2008, with a career high rank of seventh.[5]

At the 2009 Chevron World Challenge, Villegas made a very rare albatross (double eagle) on a 568 yard par 5, firing a 262 yard second shot into the hole.[6]

In March 2010, Villegas earned his third victory on the PGA Tour, winning The Honda Classic by five strokes over Anthony Kim.[7]

Villegas chose not to maintain his status on the European Tour, and a slump in form in 2012 meant he had to enter the PGA Tour's Qualifying School at the end of the season; he finished 144th on the money list. Villegas did not regain a Tour Card but had conditional status on the PGA Tour for 2013, playing in the 126-150 category. His status gave him entry based on sponsor exemptions, past championships, and priority ranking. He regained full privileges for 2014 with a 110th place finish in the FedEx Cup.

Playing style[edit]

Villegas' tremendous physical power allows him to drive the ball far away from the tee box, averaging 302.1 yards in the 2006 season. He also adapts a homemade putting routine: while he reads a putt, he crouches down parallel to the ground without touching it, extending his left leg back while balancing with his right leg and his putter to get a better view of the slope of the green. He is given the nickname "Hombre Araña" (Spiderman) for this posture.

Pronouncing his name[edit]

Throughout the PGA Tour and among the media, there is a debate over how Villegas's name should be pronounced.

  • In Spanish, Villegas is pronounced "bee-YAY-gahss" or "bee-JAY-gahss."[8] The official language in Colombia is Spanish. For more on the ambiguity of this pronunciation, see Yeísmo.
  • Recent examples from discussion forums, television coverage and sports articles—including interviews with Villegas himself—have supported the standard pronunciation of "bee-JAY-gahss" for his last name, although there are some who have not yet adopted the proper first name pronunciation, "kah-MEE-lo."[9][10]

Amateur wins[edit]

Professional wins (9)[edit]

PGA Tour wins (3)[edit]

Legend
FedEx Cup Events (2)
Other PGA Tour (1)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of victory Runner-up
1 7 Sep 2008 BMW Championship –15 (65-66-66-68=265) 2 strokes United States Dudley Hart
2 28 Sep 2008 The Tour Championship –7 (72-66-69-66=273) Playoff Spain Sergio García
3 7 Mar 2010 The Honda Classic –13 (66-66-67-68=267) 5 strokes United States Anthony Kim

PGA Tour playoff record (1–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 2007 The Honda Classic Argentina José Cóceres, United States Boo Weekley, United States Mark Wilson Wilson won with birdie on third extra hole
Villegas and Weekley eliminated with par on second hole
2 2008 The Tour Championship Spain Sergio García Won with par on first extra hole

Japan Golf Tour wins (1)[edit]

Other wins (5)[edit]

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP CUT CUT T13 T38 49 DNP DNP
U.S. Open CUT DNP T59 T26 T9 T33 T70 CUT DNP DNP
The Open Championship DNP DNP DNP DNP T39 T13 T44 CUT DNP CUT
PGA Championship DNP DNP CUT T23 T4 T51 T8 CUT DNP DNP

DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied
Yellow background for top-10.

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 3
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 1 1 7 5
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 3
PGA Championship 0 0 0 1 2 3 6 4
Totals 0 0 0 1 3 6 23 15
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 12 (2008 U.S. Open – 2011 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (three times)

Results in World Golf Championship events[edit]

Tournament 2008 2009 2010 2011
Accenture Match Play Championship R64 R16 3 R64
Cadillac Championship T26 T5 T16 T35
Bridgestone Invitational DNP T36 T71 DNP
HSBC Champions DNP T51 DNP

DNP = Did not play
QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = tied
Yellow background for top-10.
Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.

Team appearances[edit]

Amateur

Professional

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2008–09 Florida Gators Men's Golf Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 36 (2008). Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  2. ^ Golf Digest[dead link]
  3. ^ Week 36 – Camilo Villegas Leaps into the World Top 20 with Victory at the BMW Championship – Official World Golf Ranking, 8 September 2008
  4. ^ Week 39 – Villegas Wins The Tour Championship and Jumps to World Number 7 – Official World Golf Ranking, 28 September 2008
  5. ^ "Players who have reached the Top Ten in the Official World Golf Ranking since 1986" (PDF). European Tour Official Guide 09 (38th ed.). PGA European Tour. 2009. p. 558. Retrieved 16 January 2009. 
  6. ^ "Lawrie enjoys albatross at Open". BBC News. 19 July 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "Villegas Seals Third PGA Tour Win". ESPN. 7 March 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  8. ^ At the "English Pronunciation Guide to the Names of People, Places, and Stuff"- inogolo – you can actually hear the correct pronunciation in Spanish, for yourself, as well as for Camilo (notice the single "l").
  9. ^ How do you really say, Camilo Villegas?
  10. ^ Pretty in Pink: Colombia's Camilo Villegas has PGA Tour looking sharp

External links[edit]