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May 9, 2006

Camilo Villegas


TODD BUDNICK: We thank Camilo Villegas for stopping in at the 2006 EDS Byron Nelson Championship. Your first trip here to this tournament. Off to a wonderful start this year, 19th on the Money List, three top 3 finishes. Talk a little bit about how great a start you've had in your rookie season and how you kind of feel about that.

CAMILO VILLEGAS: It's been a fun year. Obviously I've played well. I'm very excited, looking forward to the rest of the season. Keep playing well, keep having fun, keep learning, and keep getting better.

TODD BUDNICK: When you came out here on Tour, what was the thing that maybe you were worried most about and what's maybe been the easiest thing for you or what you were concerned about?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: I was a little concerned about playing well at the beginning of the year and taking care of the reshuffle. Obviously it's a lot easier once you're able to kind of set your schedule and pick and choose and not depend on am I getting in or am I not getting in. So FBR was a big week and took care of the reshuffle, then played great after that, and since then I've been able to plan my schedule, my days, my weeks a little bit better.

Q. Have you been at all surprised with the popularity that you've gotten since you're brand new, or maybe is that part of it?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: Yeah, I mean, I've played well, and once you play well, your days become a lot shorter. You've got to be organized, you've got to be able to take care of business, stay in your routine, and hopefully make other people happy and give them a little bit of your time.

It's been great; reaction from the people and the crowds out there has been awesome. I've got to say thanks, and I look forward to going out there and hitting every shot every day and having fun, and hopefully have the fans have fun with it, too.

Q. Was Miami the biggest following or the craziest?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: Miami was great. I was playing good at the right time around the right people. I had my family there, which was awesome, and the crowds were different. It kind of felt like a soccer game going on. I'm sure not too many people knew much about golf, but it's great to see them come out and yell and scream and support and make my days fun.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the unique way you crouch lining up the putts, and what started that and what do you think you see from that angle that you wouldn't see from another angle?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: Well, last year on the Nationwide I wasn't putting the ball very good. I thought maybe reading the greens better was going to help me. Middle of a round, go straight down, felt good, clicked, and I've been doing it ever since. I just think you get a better look from down there.

Q. Do you see the grain a little better do you think?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: Like when you have a putt and you're like kind of leaning on the bottom side of a bunker and just checking it out really low, you can see everything very nice. I just try to do that, and I like it.

Q. Pick up undulations better maybe?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: I don't know, it just feels good.

Q. You said you're still learning all the time. What's the biggest thing that you've learned so far this year?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: You've just got to be yourself. You've just got to remember who you are and what the main goal is, and it's to play good golf. You've just got to stick to your routine, do your job, and like I said, there's a lot of things surrounding a lot of, let's call it, distractions, and you've just got to take care of business.

Q. You've had so much success. Do you put any pressure on yourself to try to win as a rookie, or do you just try to keep that in the background?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: Not really. I just try to keep playing golf. Every time I think about it, I just keep hitting it, fine, and hit it again.

Q. Keep it as simple as possible?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: Sure, it's hard enough.

Q. Toward the end of an event where Tiger and Phil are not involved, do you sense something when some of the top guys are missing that there's more of an opportunity for a breakthrough that weekend?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: Not really. I heard John Cook say once, "The most underrated player out here is every player." Everybody out here is good. It doesn't matter who's playing. The winning score is going to be low, and you've got to be on top of your game to be out there with the best guys.

Q. With the success you've had, the three top 3s, you're 19th on the Money List, did you come out with expectations of being able to do that, or is this above what you thought would happen early on?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: I just don't think that way. I just try to stay in the present, and once again, take care of business, do my job, stick to my routine, and whatever is coming ahead, it's welcome. If it's going to be some missed cuts, everyone does it. If it's going to be some Top 10 finishes, I'm going to be happy. And if it's going to be a win, that would be great. But there's no hurry.

Q. What have been the most popular pants or outfit that you're worn this year? I've seen orange and yellow. Is there anything you won't wear?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: I don't know, I've had some requests for photos for the yellow ones. I think they like those.

Q. Will you break them out this week?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: I don't know.

Q. In terms of that fashion, though, how much has that helped, and is that an extension of how you are normally? Off the course are you a flashy dresser or a retro guy or what?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: It's different. I mean, Lindeberg is a little different than most guys out there. I'm sure you guys have seen it. He's got some good ideas. He's accomplished a lot of his goals. I'm just happy to have fun every time I'm getting ready to pack.

Q. Did you go to him? Is that something maybe you told your manager, hey, I'd like to do something with him, or how does that work? Or did he come to you?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: It started two, two and a half years ago at the U.S. Open, I started wearing his stuff, and I've been wearing it ever since.

Q. What's your schedule coming up heading into the U.S. Open?

CAMILO VILLEGAS: Oh, I don't know. It all depends on what's going to happen with the qualifying for the majors and everything. I'm not sure yet. We'll see.

TODD BUDNICK: All right, thank you, Camilo.

End of FastScripts.

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