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Why Camilo Villegas Is The Man

Mar. 11, 2006     By     Comments (51)

My simple explanation on why Camilo Villegas will enjoy enormous success in the PGA Tour.

Camilo VillegasRecently there's been a ton of buzz surrounding PGA Tour Rookie Camilo Villegas and I believe all of it is deserved. With two T2's in his first six tour events, Camilo has shown that he's got the game to compete with the big boys. I started watching Camilo play golf about two years ago, when he put himself in contention week in and week out, never to seal the deal. In the following few paragraphs I'm going to outline why I so firmly believe that Villegas will make a big mark on tour.

Stellar College Career
Camilo attended The University of Florida and was the only freshman to be named as an All-American in the 2001 season, he would go on to win the honor the rest of his college career. That same freshman year he set a course record with a 64 at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Richmond, Virginia. The University of Florida consistently produces excellent PGA tour golfers, such as Dudley Hart and, more notably, Chris DiMarco.

Fantastic Dedication
When Camilo came to the University of Florida as a freshman he was a measly 5'9" and tipped the scales at barely 140 pounds. He hit the ball nowhere, but was straight enough to get the job done. Through his own dedication and perspiration Camilo was able to put on over twenty pounds of muscle during his four years at school. That bulking up has allowed the young Colombian to really stretch out his driving distances and is currently ranked 5th at 306.3 yards. Anyone who works out for golf knows how hard it is physically and mentally to keep at it and Camilo's ability to do so with unwavering patience speaks volumes about his character. I remember watching a Nationwide Tour event last year and as usual Camilo had put himself in contention. The commentators interviewed the people that were hosting Camilo in their house that week and they said that they were all very impressed with the way he lived his life. He doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, eats right, and works out with resolute dedication. Camilo is no stranger to hard work and his tenacity to succeed will serve him well throughout his career.

He's not Afraid to be Different
Camilo VillegasClothier J. Lindeberg is perhaps best known for providing Jasper Parnevick with his often outspoken attire, but they also cloth numerous players on tour including Camilo. During The Ford Championship at Doral there was a lot of talk about Camilo's somewhat outlandish wardrobe and even Johnny Miller expressed his approval in Villegas' clothes saying, "He dresses just like I used to." The combination of his exotic dress and ripped physique makes him a prime target for the females in the gallery and cat-calls are no infrequent event. Sergio might now face a little competition. Jasper Parnevick had this to say about him: "He could be the next Casanova superstar on tour, the girls love him, he looks great in the J. Lindeberg clothing. He's fresh, has a lot of charisma, and he's fun."

Another aspect of Camilo that warrants frequent discussion by TV commentators is the fact that if he can't see the line of a putt properly, he won't hesitate to drop into a half-squat, half-pushup position to drop his eyes to nearly green level. He doesn't care what people think or say about this tendency - he is only concerned with getting the ball in the hole. And when he's putting well, he can play with anyone. On a side note, if you've never tried getting that low to read a putt, try it. It actually works.

He Loves The Attention
Camilo VillegasCamilo played his best golf last week in part because of his large gallery. The large Latin American population in and around the Miami area ensured that there were plenty of people willing to follow the Colombian around the golf course. Camilo thrives under the scrutiny of his spectators and lives to impress them. He admitted in a post round interview that he gets pretty pumped up by the crowds and that they raise his level of play. I may be biting off a bit much with this, but that sort of affinity towards attention can render itself very valuable in major championships, if you catch my drift. Despite the enjoyment he gets out of the crowds, he's a bit uncomfortable about his status as a hearthrob, saying that he'd "rather be good-looking than ugly."

His Head is Screwed on Right
He knows he hasn't done anything worthwhile yet and he's in no hurry to force anything to happen. Unlike many young players, Camilo realizes that he has all the time in the world and is very patient and willing to "pay his dues" if you will. He has gone on record saying that he's mostly concerned with having fun and playing well and that those are his only current goals. Wise thoughts from such a young player. Something I noted about his playing demeanor is that he never seems to get that negative on the course. Even after he three-putted the 54th hole last week for a double-bogey, he remained calm and seemed unruffled. That will serve him well. Phil Mickelson seems to think so too, saying this about the rookie: "He's an incredible player and very likely to win this year." He must be doing something right to garner this sort of attention from one of the world's best players.

My Gut Feeling
I get this feeling sometimes, it sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. I rarely single out such a relatively unproven athlete like this, let alone make predictions about enormous success on tour - but there's just something about this kid, its hard to quantify or qualify. The only way I can really explain it is that everything about him just sits right. His vigor, his charisma, his passion, his dedication, his demeanor, his patience, everything. Everything about him just seems to scream out to me, "This kid is gonna be big!"

These are just my thoughts and predictions, and as you're likely to have noticed - very few of the arguments I've just made have been backed up by anything substantial. I realize this too and am willing to put myself on the line like this because I just feel something special in Camilo. Now I'm going to have to sit back and see if he lives up to my lofty expectations, but I'm not worried and neither is he.

Photo Credits: © PGA Tour, Sports Illustrated, PE.Com

Discussion

  1. golf fanatic says:

    I just wish he played faster. I despise watching players take forever to hit shots or attempt putts; I can't pull for anyone who is that slow. I feel players like this are harmful to the game.

  2. Cool article Jeff.

    I always love to see guys and gals go to college and play all four years instead of turning pro early. That's a big plus as far as I'm concerned.

    Second, I have never tried to read a putt like he does, and if I did, I wouldn't be able to get back up. :/ That is crazy flexibility.

    Lastly, I'm not sure if I'm a fan of Villegas yet or not. It's still too early in the game, as I haven't watched him on the Nationwide Tour in the past. I do know he is great for the game, but I'm just not sure if I'm a fan or not quite yet. Only time will tell.

    If Villegas can get more consistent with the putter, he will win numerous tourneys every season. The fashion unfortunately isn't the only thing he has in common with Sergio. :/

  3. thespinman says:

    Great article, and I am a fan of Camilo, as well as all the young power golfers out on tour right now...bubba watson, JB holmes, camilo etc...I think it is great for the game when you can have young guys that are exciting to watch and bring a different aspect to the game..they are just banging it out there and playing with the swashbuckling mentality that I think is much more enjoyable to watch...it is fun to watch guys scramble and be creative when they have to because their drives are off a bit, but it is awesome to behold when that drive is 350 yards long even if it is not straight....I look forward to watching Camilo and all the other guys in the next couple of years really become the talk of the tour....

  4. brian conn says:

    I think its a shame that Camilo Villegas isnt invited to the Masters this year. He is one of the most exciting players to watch in the game of golf. With plenty of birdies and eagles and bogeys, Doubles to go along with them. How he plays the game with so much confindence and emotion he would of been a definite contender for the green jacket ,also would draw large crowds. Luckly he is young and still has a full career infront of him

  5. Owen Cooney says:

    I am a fanatic golf fan and a fan of camilo could you email me his training program for the gym as i want to bulk up as im short off the tee thank you

  6. Spiderman says:

    I am a huge fan, I am 15 years old and a short, accurate hitter just like Camilo was, and I would love his training program/gym routine if you have it, please email it to me.
    Thanks

  7. Danny K says:

    I am a huge fan , I am from Saskatchwan i really would like to know were Camilo gets his coloured pants. Please Email me back

  8. Just saw him play his 3rd round of the AT&T Classic. Very cool to see him in person. He finished today at -11 in 3rd place. He is very consistent with his shots and pretty charismatic. Go Camilo!

  9. Jim says:

    Hey

    Camilo is by far my favourite golfer in the world

    I have a DVD of him on the Golf Channel in "Golf Fitness" in which he goes through his routine for the gym, i think he is fantastic.

    He must be a huge asset to the tour, if Tiger Woods has openly admitted he would love his body.

    I was wondering if anybody knew how Camilo marked his Golf Ball?
    If anybody knows i would apprectiate if somebody could email me, or show me a link

    Thank You

  10. Jim,

    According to Golf Digest - What's in my Bag? for Camilo,

    NO 1s
    My ball is the Titleist Pro V1, but 1s only during practice (I don't like how they look). I mark them with my initials and four dots.

    You can see the rest of the article here.

  11. wes says:

    Im a big fan of the young colombian player and how he play the game! This is a guy youngsters should look up to, compared to other guys on the tour he allways shows emotion. I can't tell how many times you see him laugh and you can see how the players who is pared with him gets better, Camilo Villegas is a real role model for all golfers.
    I just hope that he will capture a PGA tour titel next year, he's worth it!

    GO CAMILO! :grin:

  12. Cesar says:

    Jim,
    I have a golf ball autographed by Camilo that I can take a picture of if you want. Let me know.

  13. Ryan Hartman says:

    I was also wondering if you could email me Camillo's weight program. I am a graduated college golfer planning to start out in the mini tours in the spring and want to be ready.

  14. Ryan Hartman says:

    I just wish he played faster. I despise watching players take forever to hit shots or attempt putts; I can't pull for anyone who is that slow. I feel players like this are harmful to the game.

    It is ok to be deliberate in your play. I agree a player can be too slow but, not Camilo, he is deliberate. Everything he does requires his full attention. The way he dresses, works out, his swing, his attitude. He is a deliberate person and is very attentive to detail. I think players like him make other players aware of what to look at.

  15. Matt says:

    Hey, if anyone could email me the workout or the way he marks his ball that would be great.

  16. Geoff says:

    I just wish he played faster. I despise watching players take forever to hit shots or attempt putts; I can't pull for anyone who is that slow. I feel players like this are harmful to the game.

    r u kidding me? camilo is on pace all the time. He is a pro and has a right to take extra time. Excuse me sir but do u play golf for money like camilo and myself do? thats what i thought.

  17. Ryan Hartman says:

    I was also wondering if you could email me Camillo's weight program. I am a graduated college golfer planning to start out in the mini tours in the spring and want to be ready.

    Hey, if anyone could email me the workout or the way he marks his ball that would be great.

    Why don't you say something that is meaningful, that is the point of these online chats about athletes. It dowsn't make sense to say things that are irrelevant to the actual discussion topic. No one once to to read what you are saying unless you have an actual point. The topic is , do you think Camillo is a slow player?

  18. grant says:

    I watched camilo play in the pga championship in 07 and he was great he drew a pretty big gallery. he is alot of fun to watch on one hole he was walking up to the green and he saw a guy sleeping in a chair so he pulled on his shirt and woke him up. its great to see a player interact with the fans. if anyone knows where to get colorful pants or shirts like that tell me.

  19. beast says:

    Camilo is the man. He hasnt been playing very well as of lately but he has been taking some time to fix some smaller problems in his game. Look out for a run this season :grin:

  20. Ed McQueen says:

    I think Camilo has done good despite the fact that he is so young compared to other players. Also his high flexibility on the field allows him to catch the slopes every time he gets in that distinctive position he does. I hope he hits a big tournament as champion soon.!

  21. Sandor Ortegon says:

    Congratulations to Camilo for his wire to wire win in the BMW Championship. I don't know if he is "the real deal" (in order to be a top 10 player or future winner of a major championship), as some commentators said, but he is very talented, seems to be very motivated and he is mentally strong. He has worked a lot in order to get this opportunity and hopefully this will be the first of many wins in the tour, as long as he keeps his great work ethic and desire. Of course, there is a lot of very good players out there to compete with.

  22. bruce says:

    I was a Norman fan and I looked for a new player that I likened his play to Norman. I first saw him in Scranton his last year on the Nationwide tour and he was booming drives back then. Congratulations to him on his first PGA win.

  23. Jeanette at Druid Hills Golf Club says:

    :smile:
    Congratulations Camilo on your 2008 East Lake FED-EX win!
    Awesome! Thanks for giving me someone to watch in the future. Really exciting!

  24. psr212 says:

    Camilo is the man! people from Colombia are the best! COLOMBIA # 1 !!!!

  25. mugsy says:

    Camilo has to be the most vibrant, most exciting and most inspiring individual to hit the Tour in years. He is deliberate, dedicated and diversified and adds a touch of class to the game like I have never seen before. I can only wish him continued success as I will be watching his every tournament. I'm your biggest fan. Go, Spiderman!!!

  26. sally says:

    :razz: looking forward to seeing you camilo at the buick in february. ill be the short lil blond watching intently lol

  27. Lills says:

    I watched Camilo practice today for the PGA Tour, in Tucson, AZ. All I can say is that whenever he hits that ball, it looks effortless. The boy can swing. My friend and I were talking about how toned his body is and then everyone around us made the same comment. 90% of the spectators today, were following him. He's great! Best of luck Camilo! We will all be watching you! :smile:

  28. mugsy says:

    Camilo's swing does look effortless because it is so compact. In his workouts he treats his body as a single unit, exercising everything together so that all muscles react in a single, powerful motion, driving through the ball with incredible force. His shortened backswing will ensure a longer life for his spinal column and reduce the chance of over-extension and back injury, thus providing us with more exciting action from the "Spiderman." Let's go, Camilo

  29. James says:

    He's a class act. You just need to read some of the interviews he's given and you quickly get a strong impression as to just how hard-working, focussed and level-headed he is.
    They say top-level golf is 90% in the mind, that being the case Camillo has got a huge future in the game.

  30. sally says:

    I agree James, I read all of the interviews I can find with Camilo.... the videos are a bit distracting ( he is a very handsome young man in my opinion) and he is definately a class act. I know he has a mental coach, and that's all good, but I really believe that Camilo already knew of the positive spin and the focus. The mental coach has just made him more receptive to the acceptance of that voice in his head. Im very much looking forward to watching him become #1!

  31. mugsy says:

    By overcoming all the obstacles in front of him when he came to Florida (his stature and a working knowledge of the English Language) Camilo has demonstrated the drive and determination that will carry him on to the #1 spot in the world. In my opinion, he's already there. His workout regimen and dedication to the game of golf is superior to all others. His mind is in the right place and he's having a ball just being Camilo, Hooray for you, Camilo, and keep on being an inspiration to us all. And thanks for your devotion to the children. That makes them winners, too. Go, Spiderman!!!

  32. sally says:

    :razz: sweet game today Camilo!
    your such a stud Cami!.. great gains at the Masters.. wish i coulda been there :wink:

  33. Joe Okie says:

    How come TV announcers can't say Camillo's name correctly-how in the world did they get the "j" in it?

  34. How come TV announcers can't say Camillo's name correctly-how in the world did they get the "j" in it?

    That's how he says it. Cam-ee-low Vee-jay-gus

  35. SALLY says:

    In Columbia the two ll's are pronounced with a J sound. Like where he's from Medallin, it is pronounced MED-A-JEEN. Villegas is actually Camilo's middle name. ( Am i allowed to show here what his last name really is?).. oh well, if you really want to know Camilo can tell you himself!
    Anyway- SWEET GAME TODAY CAMI! A hole in one! but ya gotta work on that knuckle tap with your new caddie ;-)

  36. SALLY says:

    oh geese :roll: .. i guess i better stop listening to AM radio golf announcments while im at work... you got an eagle! not a hole in one.... ( but still a sweet game today camilo) hope the rain and thunder stop for tomorrow.

  37. mugsy says:

    Yeah, you just gotta love him - his dedication to the game, to himself, his family and especially to the children of St. Judes Hospital. He is such a class act and such a giving,generous, selfless person. Camilo, you must be especially enjoying this weekend tournament in Memphis. Hopefully you can spend some quality time with those children whom you have shown so much devotion to. I would like to help you with your commitment in any way I can. Please reply. Mugsy

  38. Jay Bee says:

    Watched Camilo play at the Canadian Open last year and was very impressed. Looking forward to this years Open just to watch Camilo again

  39. freddy917 says:

    Just want to clarify the pronunciation of camilo's last name (not his middle name) I say this because as a Colombian-american I think I know how to pronounce spanish names. His name is pronounced vee-jeh-gas. Also there are some people that think villegas is his middle name, that's not true his full name is
    Camilo villegas restrepo. This is because in Colombia both your parents last names are used, villegas being his fathers and restrepo his mothers. Anyway camilo is a great golfer and I wish him good luck at the US open. Go get'em spiderman!

  40. freddy917 says:

    I forgot to mention that in spanish two Ls (LL) is pronounced with a J sound, that's why you hear commentators say it like that and it is the right way

  41. SALLY says:

    It's been very nice to see Camilo smiling these last two tours...... he looks truely happy. Glad to see you enjoying the game more relaxed and having fun..... you were so serious at the Buick :???: .. looking forward to the President's Cup in October..... maybe see that happy face of yours for real. Congrats on the 66 in the first round at The Open.... hope the low scores are there for ya in Canada.

  42. SALLY says:

    HELL YES CAM! Great first round! can't wait to watch the next one!

  43. Jim Kuhns says:

    I saw Camillo win the Honda today and he looks great, I'm so happy for him to keep winning. What a stud.

  44. mugsy says:

    Thank you, Camilo, For a wonderful and exciting weekend. See there. You have all the tools. You've had them all along. Mindset is so important. Enjoy golf, enjoy life. What you have put into each will be rewarded many times over. Keep your head right. Really hope to meet you someday. Would still like to help with St. Judes.

  45. gray keller says:

    He is the main reason I watch golf today. He makes it exciting.

  46. Sally Schoenle says:

    Yes @ Gary Keller- Ill turn on the tournament... watch for a few....if Camilo isn't being televised, i'll watch something else.. then just keep up with him in pgagolftour.com for live feeds of his game.

  1. [... Recently there's been a ton of buzz surrounding PGA Tour Rookie Camilo Villegas and I believe all of it is deserved. With two T2's in his first six tour events, ...]

  2. [... Recently there's been a ton of buzz surrounding PGA Tour Rookie Camilo Villegas and I believe all of it is deserved. With two T2's in his first six tour events, ...]

  3. [... Recently there's been a ton of buzz surrounding PGA Tour Rookie Camilo Villegas and I believe all of it is deserved. With two T2's in his first six tour events, ...]

  4. [... Recently there's been a ton of buzz surrounding PGA Tour Rookie Camilo Villegas and I believe all of it is deserved. With two T2's in his first six tour events, ...]

  5. [... Recently there's been a ton of buzz surrounding PGA Tour Rookie Camilo Villegas and I believe all of it is deserved. With two T2's in his first six tour events, ...]

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