After gaining his PGA Tour card in 2006 Camilo Villegas has played the last seven years consecutively on tour. He has been very successful in that period winning three times (BMW, Tour Championship and the Honda Classic).
One of the most popular golfers on tour and renowned for his unique way he reads the putts (shown in picture) and given the name “Spiderman” as a result.
Born in Columbia thirty years ago Camilo attended the University of Florida (Gators) where he had great success winning eight collegiate tournaments and gaining All-American-Team selection four times.
He graduated with a business degree and turned pro in 2004. It didn't take him long to win as a pro and his 1st victory came on the Hooters Tour at the Forrest Oakes Championship.
In 2005 he started the year on the Web.Com with no status but earned Special Temporary Membership by finishing top ten five times in his first ten tournaments. By the end of that year Camilo finished 13th on the money list and promotion to the PGA Tour.
In his first year on tour he was achieving fame and fortune on and off the course.
His flamboyant style of play where attacking the golf course
appealed to many fans and off the course where People Magazine voted him one of their “Hottest Bachelors”.
Over the last seven years he has won nearly US$15,000,000.00 in
prize money on the PGA Tour and that’s not including money won on
other tours where he regularly played and won (Columbian Open and Coca-Cola Tokai Classic in Japan).
So now that he doesn’t have a card to play on the PGA Tour where does he go from here?
By finishing in 148th position on the money list he has a conditional card which all players from position 126Th to 150th receive and this category does not give him automatic entry into any tournament in 2013. He will have to wait until there is a spot available or ask for a sponsor’s invite which means he can’t plan his year like he has been able to.
As a three time winner on tour that normally entitles you as past champion to have a spot in the field for that tournament. But as two of the tournaments he has won the BMW and Tour Championships are part of the FedEx Cup playoffs he will not get exemptions to play unless he qualifies.
It is hard to predict with no Fall Series events in 2013 but Camilo should get to play between eight to sixteen events where he has to take those opportunities to earn a spot inside the top 125 at the end of the year.
On the flip side he will have a full card on the Web.Com Tour where he would be eligible to play in all the events and gain a card and promotion back onto the PGA Tour.
I have no doubt that Camilo has the game to get back onto the PGA
tour with a full card and the game needs players like him who draw fans to tournaments by the way he dresses, looks and plays.
There are a few other former multiple tournament winners who are
in the same predicament as Camilo.
Rod Pampling, Billy Mayfair, Daniel Chopra and Todd Hamilton (British Open winner) are also at that crossroad in their careers where they have to dig deep and find their games and belief in themselves to continue to compete and succeed at the highest level which is the PGA Tour.
David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College
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