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August 27 2011

5:32 PM

Emotional Villegas continues roll

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

EDISON, N.J. -- Camilo Villegas would be the first to tell you that he hasn't had the kind of year he wanted. But the Colombian has certainly picked the right time to come alive during the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.

Villegas started last week at the Wyndham Championship -- in what the NCAA would call a "play-in game" if this were college basketball -- ranked 125th in the standings and moved up 16 spots with his tie for ninth. He then tied for sixth on Saturday at The Barclays and this time jumped a whopping 58 spots all the way to 51st.

Suddenly Villegas is in good shape to make the field for the BMW Championship, a tournament he won in 2009, as well certain to be playing at TPC Boston next week. Only the top 70 after the Deutsche Bank Championship are headed to Chicago for the BMW Championship.

"It's been while playing crappy and it's not a fun job when you're not playing good," Villegas said. "So it's time to turn it around, play some good golf and have more fun, I guess."

Toward that end, Villegas said he's found himself showing more emotion on the course of late. In some ways that’s contrary to conventional wisdom of players needed to stay on an even keel but it’s working for him.

"I've been a little more nervous, but at the same time … a little more,” Villegas paused, searching for the right word. “The feelings are a little stronger. I get out there and I get mad a little  bit more but I get excited a little bit more, too. I know sometimes some people say you should be very level and things like that, but I think it's a good thing for me right now to get a little more excited because it hasn't been a fun year.

"It's been a grind and the last two weeks were fun."

Villegas hit all 18 greens in regulation on Saturday as he fired a 65 in the final round to move to 14 under. It marked the sixth straight time he'd broken 70 and Villegas ended the week ranked tied for ninth in greens in regulation, 18th in fairways hit and 23rd in putting.

"This week, it's killing me a little  bit to know how bad I putted the last few days," Villegas, who needed 30 on Saturday, said. "I hit the  ball so good the last two days and I hit so many iron shots close in there that I know  I left some out there."

The way he’s playing, Villegas will probably find them next week at TPC Boston.

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