Camilo Villegas Captures Honda Classic

Sports News - March 8th, 2010 - Written By Bryan Cross

camilo villegasCamilo Villegas arrived at the Honda Classic late on Wednesday, and did not even have to time get a practice-round in before the start of the tournament. Apparently, practice doesn't make perfect. Villegas fired a final round 68, to secure a five-shot win over Anthony Kim on Sunday at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens.

He capped off quite a week with a birdie on the 72nd hole, raising his hands in celebration and triumph.

"I've just had good vibes in me all week," Villegas said in a post-round interview.

It wasn't quite the runaway victory the final total made it seem like however. Early in the round, Vijay Singh climbed to within two shots of the former Florida Gator standout, after he drained a 45-foot birdie putt on the fifth hole.

Villegas responded however several holes later, with birdies on holes No. 8, No. 9, and No. 10. The three consecutive birdies gave Villegas a nice cushion heading to the home stretch of holes.

"It's very special," Villegas said. "I'm just very privileged to do what I do. But trust me, it's tough. These guys are good. That is so true. Those guys are good."

The stretch of three holes in which Villegas birdied proved to be very valuable, because he struggled on the greens coming in. He bogeyed No.11 and No.12 after missing short par puts. The on No.15, he three-putted. However, no player close to the lead was able to make a run and capitalize on the few mistakes that Villegas made on Sunday.

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Kim equaled Villegas' round of 67. The 36-hole leader struggled on Saturday, shooting a 73, which caused him to falter from the lead and was forced to climb his way back to contention.

"I hung in there," remarked Kim following the conclusion of his round. "I still haven't put four good ones together but I'm trying as hard as I can to get there. I'm working on the right things and I'm sure it will come."

The victory caps off quite a last seven days for VIllegas, who finished in the top-ten at the Phoenix Open last week. From there, he hopped a plane to his native country of Colombia to attend events at a Nationwide tour event in which his brother was competing. It was the first ever PGA Tour event in South America.

With the win, Villegas joins an exclusive club on the PGA Tour as one of four current players under 30 years old with a minimum of three career wins. The others include Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson and Sean O'Hair.

"Tournaments are four rounds and I played three pretty good ones," Villegas said. "I was lucky in one. It's never as easy as you think. I played great the front nine, then I made a couple hiccups and missed some putts, but I stayed patient."

Entering the final round of competition, Villegas was an asserted favorite to capture the Honda Classic according to the PGA Betting Lines at Bodog Sportsbook. He was established as a 1/2 favorite.