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November 13 2013

3:59 PM

Villegas popular in OHL Classic debut

Watch Villegas's pre-tournament interview

Camilo Villegas talks with the media prior the pro-am at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

Camilo Villegas turned down an invitation to play Down Under in next week's ISPS Handa World Cup of Golf to make a trip south of the border.

He made the decision to play in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba for the first time because "I heard such good things about the course, about the quality of the people from my fellow professionals."

Now that he's in Mexico, Villegas can see why everyone spoke so highly of the venue. Plus, the food has been spectacular.

"I absolutely love Mexican food," the Colombian said.

Villegas walked El Camaleon on Tuesday and planned to play it in the pro-am for the first time Wednesday. He came away impressed by the Greg Norman design. "Very nice course. Very nice course," he said.

Villegas, who turns 33 in January, has won three times on the PGA TOUR. He was an academic and athletic All-American at Florida, then spent a year on the Web.com Tour before earning his TOUR card for the 2006 season.

But Villegas sees the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica-NEC Series as another avenue to help young Latin players hone their skills.

"I don't want to be the only Colombian on TOUR," Villegas said. "With the PGA TOUR Latin America now in swing, this has been a great opportunity for more players to be developed."

The OHL Classic is the sixth and final event of the first part of the PGA TOUR's 2013-14 wrap-around schedule. Villegas will have played in five of them, so he's looking forward to heading to South America next week before returning to his U.S. base in Jupiter, Fla., in late December.

He'd like nothing better than to end the early part of the season with a win.

"But beyond that, there is also the love in my heart for being a representative of all Latin Americans in the game this week," Villegas said. "I'm excited about that."

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