Camilo Villegas is a PGA Tour winner again. Coming off his incredible finish last week in Mexico, where he tied for second place with Matt Kuchar, Villegas was the last man standing at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.
The Columbian fired off a bogey-free 65 on Sunday to finish at 24-under for the tournament, beating Alex Noren by two strokes. It was his first win in 3,374 days since he took home the 2014 Wyndham Championship.
It was another moment in golf that showed some things are far greater than the sport.
Villegas ended his drought and recorded his first victory as a dad. He tragically lost his 22-month-old daughter, Mia, three years ago to brain cancer. Clearly, it was heartbreaking for him and his family.
This win was for her.
“I felt the energy. It kept building up. Everybody here on the island was great and rooting me on,” Villegas said as tears streamed down his face.
“You’ve got to believe in energy, man. Like I said, I’ve got my little one up there watching it, smiling. She’s where she needs to be after a long fight. To everybody, I want to say thanks — it’s been a fun week.”
It wasn’t just overcoming the grief from losing a child, but his Tour card was also on the line.
Entering the weekend, the 41-year-old didn’t have his card for the 2024 season. With the win under his belt, the tour card is now secure.
This story is why the FedEx Fall series is so important. Villegas hadn’t recorded a top-10 finish since 2021 at the Honda Classic.
He even experimented as a TV commentator in August because things weren’t going his way on the golf course.
Villegas made four birdies on the front nine to go out in 32 strokes. He avoided making mistakes on the back nine, keeping his scorecard clean on Sunday. He secured the victory with birdies on the par-4 15th and par-5 17th.
The Medellín, Columbia native overhauled his swing with Jose Campra, Sebastian Munoz’s caddie.
“He told me when we started, ‘you know what, I think you’re going to win again on the PGA Tour,’” Villegas said. “I’m not sure I believed him, to be honest, but here we are.”
He is projected to jump to No. 75 in the FedEx Cup rankings from No. 147. Villegas is in the field for the RSM Classic next week, where he’ll try to get inside that top-60 mark and get into the first two Signature Events after the Sentry Championship.
Following her passing in 2020, Villegas started Mia’s Miracles to help other families who are dealing with pediatric cancer.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.