Villegas, from Medellin, Colombia, to Stay Grounded

Villegas shines on open debut
Villegas, in his familiar, ground-hugging
read of the green on Friday

If you did not have the opportunity to be at this event, perhaps you were working or did not find cheap flights quickly enough, then this will fill you in on what you need to know. Reading this will help you to feel as if you were actually there, watching it step by step, putt by putt. Writer David Westin has really captured the feeling of the day with his accurate and lively writing. If one person knows the ins and outs of a game of golf it's David, so you've come to the right place to find out more about Villegas.

Before you read about the tournament, let me give you some information regarding Villegas, so you know exactly who we are dealing with. Villegas is a Colombian professional golfer, who has been playing golf and winning tournaments since he was a child. What Villegas has that makes him really stand out from the crowd is his extreme physical fitness, he is dedicated to keeping himself in tip top shape, which enables him to drive the ball far away from the tee box.

Spiderman Villegas, from Medellin, Colombia is climbing high

Sunday, April 1, 2007

 
No one in the Masters Tournament field will study Augusta National Golf Club's
greens
quite like Camilo Villegas
.
 

It's hard to tell if the flashy second-year PGA Tour pro from Medellin, Colombia, is better known for his booming drives (he averaged more than 302 yards off the tee last year) or the way he lines up his putts.

Villegas, a 25-year-old Masters rookie, crouches down horizontally on one hand in a serpentinelike position to get a better read on the line of putts. Sometimes it appears that his chest rests on the green, but it never touches the grass.

He doesn't go into these contortions on every putt. It depends on the kind of putt he faces and whether he's unsure of the break.
When a reporter joked that Augusta National might frown on that style of reading putts on its famous greens, he said, "They better let me. I don't see any problem with it."

Villegas started the pre-putting routine about 1 years ago.
"I was hitting the ball really good and I started struggling a little bit with my putter," he said. "I remember in the middle of a round, I just laid down there and I go, 'Hmm, maybe if I get down lower I'll see it better.' It just kind of felt good and I kept doing it. I figured I had to do something."
Now it's his calling card. It's even featured prominently in one of his golf equipment commercials.

"You get reaction from people," Villegas said. "Some people like it. I don't really know what other players or other people think about it. But you know what? If it works, I'll keep doing it."

Villegas made a spirited run at making it into the Masters last year. He tied for second in the FBR Open and the Ford Championship. Then he earned a spot in the Players Championship when fellow Florida Gator Chris DiMarco withdrew because of an injury. Villegas shot 68-71 on the weekend to finish tied for third and moved up to 11th on the money list. Had he been one shot lower, Villegas would have made the Masters by being in the top 10 on the money list at the time.

"It was awesome; I gave it a good try and fell one shot short," Villegas said. "It was great to have a chance to get in. I worked my butt off and came really close."
Despite being one of the hottest players on the tour at the time, Villegas didn't dwell on how he might have played in the Masters.

"You know what? You can't think that way," he said. "You have to be in the present and see what's going on. You give it your best every time and keep going. That's what I did."
Instead of playing in the Masters, Villegas said he had "a nice week off," which included watching the tournament on television.
Villegas continued his strong play after the Players Championship and finished 38th on the year-end money list. The top 40 make the Masters.

"It's always been a dream (to play in the Masters)," Villegas said. "You'd always want to be playing the majors, and I've watched that one a million times on TV."

Villegas' Augusta National debut will be highly anticipated. He's considered something of a matinee idol for his good looks and colorful clothes. That, combined with his aggressive style of play, is a magnet for galleries.

"I enjoy big crowds," Villegas said.
His popularity forced him to make some adjustments, though.

"It's tough (to keep his focus)," Villegas said. "It's been one of my biggest challenges out here, dealing with all the surroundings around the golf, and all of this stuff you have off the golf (course)."

Villegas has the substance to go with his style, which could result in a high finish in the Masters.
"You've got to go with a great attitude to every golf course you go to," Villegas said, referring to Augusta National.

"That's my goal. I'll be out there, I'll check out the golf course, play smart and hopefully play good."

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