Camilo Villegas

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

Camilo Villegas
Camilo Villegas, Open 2008.jpg
Personal information
Full nameCamilo Villegas Restrepo
Born (1982-01-07) 7 January 1982 (age 38)
Medellín, Colombia
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight160 lb (73 kg; 11 st)
Nationality Colombia
ResidenceGainesville, Florida
Jupiter, Florida
PartnerMaria Ochoa Mora
CollegeUniversity of Florida
Turned professional2004
Current tour(s)PGA Tour
Former tour(s)European Tour Tour
Professional wins10
Highest ranking7 (28 September 2008)[1]
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour4
Japan Golf Tour1
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentT13: 2009
PGA ChampionshipT4: 2008
U.S. OpenT9: 2008
The Open ChampionshipT13: 2009

Early yearsEdit

Villegas was born in Medellín, Colombia, and took up golf as a child. After several different National Junior Championships in Colombia between the ages of 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 careerEdit

Villegas accepted 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).[2] 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. Villegas and Player have starred together in a MasterCard "priceless" commercial.

In the June 2006 issue of Golf Digest, he was named "the sexiest player on tour, Tiger Woods included."[3] 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 in Gainesville, Florida.

His younger brother, Manuel, also played on the University of Florida team and now plays on the Tour.

Professional careerEdit

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. 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.[4]

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[5] 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 spent over 30 weeks in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Rankings since 2008, with a career high rank of seventh.[6]

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.[7]

In March 2010, Villegas earned his third victory on the PGA Tour, winning The Honda Classic by five strokes over Anthony Kim.[8] He 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. In 2014, Villegas won the Wyndham Championship, his first win on Tour in more than four years. The win moved him into the 37th position of the 2014 FedEX Cup prior to going into the FedEx Cup playoffs. With this victory, Villegas earns an invitation into the 2015 Masters Tournament and two years full-exempt status on the PGA Tour.

In July 2016, Villegas withdrew from the Olympics in Rio to concentrate in the PGA Tour and secure a card for the 2016–17 season. He also mentioned concerns over the Zika virus as another reason to pull out from the Olympics.[9] Villegas did not regain his Tour card and played the 2016–17 season with only past champion status. He eventually played well enough to regain his PGA Tour privileges for the 2017–18 season.

Pronouncing his nameEdit

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." 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."[10]

Villegas is often compared with Spider-Man for his unique style of reading greens before he putts.

Amateur winsEdit

Professional wins (10)Edit

PGA Tour wins (4)Edit

FedEx Cup playoff events (2)
Other PGA Tour (2)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 7 Sep 2008 BMW Championship −15 (65-66-66-68=265) 2 strokes   Dudley Hart
2 28 Sep 2008 The Tour Championship −7 (72-66-69-66=273) Playoff   Sergio García
3 7 Mar 2010 The Honda Classic −13 (66-66-67-68=267) 5 strokes   Anthony Kim
4 17 Aug 2014 Wyndham Championship −17 (63-69-68-63=263) 1 stroke   Bill Haas,   Fredrik Jacobson

PGA Tour playoff record (1–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 2007 The Honda Classic   José Cóceres,   Boo Weekley,
  Mark Wilson
Wilson won with birdie on third extra hole
Villegas and Weekley eliminated with par on second hole
2 2008 The Tour Championship   Sergio García Won with par on first extra hole
3 2016 RSM Classic   Blayne Barber,   Billy Horschel,
  Mackenzie Hughes,   Henrik Norlander
Hughes won with par on third extra hole
Horschel eliminated with par on first hole

Japan Golf Tour wins (1)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 30 Sep 2007 Coca-Cola Tokai Classic −2 (68-72-71-71=282) Playoff   Toyokazu Fujishima

Japan Golf Tour playoff record (1–0)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 2007 Coca-Cola Tokai Classic   Toyokazu Fujishima Won with birdie on second extra hole

South American wins (1)Edit

Other wins (4)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 17 Jun 2008 Telus World Skins Game $230,000 $130,000   Greg Norman
2 24 Jun 2008 CVS Caremark Charity Classic
(with   Bubba Watson)
−15 (61-34=95)* Playoff   Billy Andrade and   Davis Love III,
  Paul Goydos and   Tim Herron,
  Rocco Mediate and   Brandt Snedeker
3 26 Aug 2008 Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge $220,000 $40,000   Vijay Singh
4 8 Nov 2010 World Golf Salutes King Bhumibol Skins Tournament $109,800 $17,800   Paul Casey

*Note: The 2008 CVS Caremark Charity Classic was stopped after 28 holes due to heavy rain.

Other playoff record (1–0)

No. Year Tournament Opponents Result
1 2008 CVS Caremark Charity Classic
(with   Bubba Watson)
  Billy Andrade and   Davis Love III,
  Paul Goydos and   Tim Herron,
  Rocco Mediate and   Brandt Snedeker
Won by 1 stroke in three-hole aggregate playoff

Results in major championshipsEdit

Tournament 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Masters Tournament CUT CUT T13 T38 49 CUT
U.S. Open CUT T59 T26 T9 T33 T70 CUT 74
The Open Championship T39 T13 T44 CUT CUT
PGA Championship CUT T23 T4 T51 T8 CUT CUT
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 3
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 1 1 8 6
The Open Championship 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 3
PGA Championship 0 0 0 1 2 3 7 4
Totals 0 0 0 1 3 6 26 16
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 12 (2008 U.S. Open – 2011 Masters)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (three times)

Results in The Players ChampionshipEdit

Tournament 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
The Players Championship T3 CUT T66 T14 CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT 70
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Results in World Golf ChampionshipsEdit

Results not in chronological order before 2015.

Tournament 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Championship T26 T5 T16 T35
Match Play R64 R16 3 R64
Invitational T36 T71 T25
Champions T51
  Top 10
  Did not play

QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = tied
Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.

Team appearancesEdit



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Week 39 2008 Ending 28 Sep 2008" (pdf). OWGR. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  2. ^ 2008–09 Florida Gators Men's Golf Media Guide Archived 22 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 36 (2008). Retrieved July 14, 2011.
  3. ^ Morrice, Peter (June 2006). "Cover Story: Bomb & Gouge". Golf Digest. Archived from the original on 16 June 2006.
  4. ^ Week 36 – Camilo Villegas Leaps into the World Top 20 with Victory at the BMW Championship Archived 10 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine – Official World Golf Ranking, 8 September 2008
  5. ^ Week 39 – Villegas Wins The Tour Championship and Jumps to World Number 7 Archived 10 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine – Official World Golf Ranking, 28 September 2008
  6. ^ "Players who have reached the Top Ten in the Official World Golf Ranking since 1986". European Tour Official Guide 09 (PDF) (38th ed.). PGA European Tour. 2009. p. 558. Retrieved 16 January 2009.
  7. ^ "Lawrie enjoys albatross at Open". BBC News. 19 July 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Villegas Seals Third PGA Tour Win". ESPN. 7 March 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2010.
  9. ^ "Camilo Villegas pulls out of Rio to protect Tour Card". United Press International. The Sport Xchange. 19 July 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  10. ^ Pretty in Pink: Colombia's Camilo Villegas has PGA Tour looking sharp

External linksEdit