August 22 2013
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Camilo Villegas came into this week near the lead on the all-time points list for the FedExCup Playoffs.
He's also hoping to stay in them. Villegas was 110th in points entering the Barclays. Only the top 100 will advance to next week's event outside Boston.
Thursday's opening round was a pretty good start.
Villegas shot a 6-under 65 and is just a stroke off the lead at Liberty National, where he made eight birdies and just two bogeys.
It's not the first time Villegas has fared well in the Playoffs -- in 2008 he won two events and tied for third in another. It's also not the first time he's gotten off to a hot start in a tournament this season.
Five times this year Villegas has opened with a 65 or lower in a tournament. In the other four, his best finish was a tie for 48th. At The Honda Classic, he shot 64 take the lead after the first round. The next day he carded a 77 and missed the cut.
"A bad round is a bad round," Villegas said. "Doesn't matter if it's second round, third round, fourth round.
"My game is coming back. I'm gaining confidence and I'm feeling better. It's great when we have the confidence. It's not so good when you lack confidence. But I'm heading the right direction."
He's not the only one. Here's a look at who else moved up (or down) in the projected FedExCup standings:
Kevin Stadler: The leader at 7 under after a 64 Thursday, Stadler is projected to move from 87th in the standings to second. Should he go on to win that would all but secure him a spot in the field in the season-finale at East Lake.
Ryan Palmer: Like Stadler, Palmer would make a big jump. His 65 has him tied for second. He's also projected to move from 46th to seventh.
Morgan Hoffman: A 67 by Hoffman has him only three off the lead -- and projected to move from 111th to 58th, which would get him to Boston next week.
Jeff Overton: He came in right on the bubble at No. 100. A 68 has him currently tied for 14th and projected to move to 68th.
Carl Pettersson: The Swede was 113th when the week started. He's now projected at 77th after a 68.
Rory Sabbatini, Martin Flores, Pat Perez: All three started the week inside the top 100. All three are projected to fall outside the magic number after all shot 71.
Ted Potter Jr., J.J. Henry, Richard H. Lee: Thanks to 73s by Potter and Henry, and a 75 by Lee, these three are also projected to fall outside the top 100.