Villegas takes lead with 63 at Wyndham
Send a link to a friend
[August 15, 2014]
By Andrew Both
GREENSBORO North Carolina (Reuters) -
Camilo Villegas, refreshed after a quick trip back to his native
Colombia, carded seven-under-par 63 to earn the lead after the first
round at the Wyndham Championship on Thursday.
Villegas compiled an eagle and five birdies for a one-stroke edge
over Americans Webb Simpson and William McGirt in delightful
conditions on a mild summer's day at Sedgefield.
"It was nice to go without any bogeys and I think it probably showed
it was a consistent round," Villegas told reporters.
"I kept it on the fairways, on the greens and just made the putts
when I hit it close. My birdie putts weren't even that long. I just
hit the ball nicely."
Villegas, 32, a three-time PGA Tour winner, was heavily promoted by
the PGA Tour as the next big thing when he burst on tour in 2006.
But his career stalled as he battled minor injuries and loss of form
and he fell to 148th on the rankings in 2012.
"Do I feel like I have played to my potential the last
two-and-a-half years? No," he said. "But it's not everything about
golf. You've got to be a little bit easy on yourself and just enjoy
life. The game has been good to me. I have no complaints.
"Did I see (a 63) coming? Not really, but I felt good on the range
this morning and just kept it going."
A keen cyclist, he returned home last week to visit his parents in
Medellin, where he enjoyed some strenuous rides around the
As well as Villegas played, he could not steal much local attention
away from North Carolina-born Webb Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open
champion who lives in nearby Charlotte.
Charlotte is also home to
Martin Laird, though the Scot was born much further afield in
[to top of second column]
Laird has won three times on tour, most recently the Texas Open last year,
but rather than using those successes as a springboard, he has regressed
However, a return to coach Mark McCann six weeks ago has the 31-year-old
hopeful he is back on the right track after missing all four majors this
"I'd been struggling with my ball-striking a little while, kind of
searching," Laird, who had been in sight of the early lead after
shooting a five-under 65, told reporters.
"We started working on some things that we worked on in the past and
with that little comfort factor knowing I played my best golf working
with him in the past, we clicked and I started playing a little better
and building the confidence week by week."
(Editing by Gene Cherry/Greg Stutchbury)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.