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August 31, 2007

Camilo Villegas


STEWART MOORE: Camilo Villegas, thanks for spending a few moments with us here in the interview room at the Deutsche Bank Championship. You come into this week ranked 46th on the FedExCup Points list, which is classified as probable to get into next week. Obviously you played great today. You'd like to make that a certain.
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Obviously like to get to the TOUR Championship. I had a great day today obviously. Putted great, eight birdies, no bogeys, kept the ball in play and rolled some beautiful putts. I was happy with my round. It's very early in the week, and it's time to keep it going.
STEWART MOORE: Coming off three straight top-25 finishes on TOUR. Did you see a round like this coming, a real low one?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: I've been feeling great all year, all year. I haven't scored the way I would like to. Last week was a great week for me. I felt very good, and the last month I've been hitting the ball awesome, I just needed to get a putt down here and there, and I did today, and it paid off. A great round today.
STEWART MOORE: Maybe quickly go through your birdies and then we'll turn it over to questions.
CAMILO VILLEGAS: 3rd hole, par 3, the three of us hit some great shots there, and I made about a 16-footer coming down the hill. It was a tricky putt, but I hit it a bunch of times in the practice round and it really paid off.

Q. What did you hit off the tee?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: 7-iron I hit into that hole.
4th hole, new hole, short par 4, I hit a 3-wood off the tee actually and just left it just short of the green on the right side where I could putt it up there, and I putted it to about four feet, and I made that one for birdie.
Then I went to 6, I hit it to the middle of the green. I hit 3-wood off the tee, hit 8-iron. I had about a 20-footer and was actually going a little firm, but I got it in the middle of the hole.
7th hole, par 5, good drive, then I hit a 5-wood into the left bunker. It was a tricky shot, but I just wanted to get on the top tier, and I did, and I made a great 12-footer, little slider there, for birdie.
Then on the 12th hole, I hit a beautiful 3-wood off that tee, and I only had a sand wedge in, which left me with an eight-footer, right edge, and just rolled really nicely.
Then went to the 14th hole, hit a driver, hit the same exact shot I had into the 12th hole, and I pulled it a little bit, but I made a great putt. I mean, it jumped there getting toward the hole, and it looked like it was going to slip out, but I guess when they're going in, they're going in.
Then finished birdie-birdie. On the 17th hole, 3-iron off the tee, then I was just trying to avoid that little hump they put in the middle of the green, which is a little strange, I think. But I managed to get it pin high and roll a great putt in.
And then 18th hole, hit driver, good driver, then I was very much in between a 3-iron and a 5-wood, and I just went with a 5-wood and tried to cut it to stop it there on the green, and I hit a beautiful shot. I thought I made that putt for eagle, by the way, but I'll take the 4 and go do a little work.

Q. You talked about the fact that you putted well today. Had you been putting well coming up to this, just not making putts? Or did you putt as well as you have in quite a while today?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: It depends who you ask.

Q. I'll ask you.
CAMILO VILLEGAS: If you ask me, I think I've been feeling great with the putter. I believe I need to get a little more consistent. I believe I'm a good putter.
If you ask the media, maybe it's a little bit the other way around, and I'm probably one of the worst putters out here. But I'm feeling great with my putting.

Q. ¿Cogiste muy bien segundo disparo en el hoyo 18. Jugaste un fade, para derecha? (You caught a good second shot at the 18th hole. Were you playing a fade, a shot to the right?)
CAMILO VILLEGAS: You're asking me about the second shot on the 18th hole, what I hit there, and like I said earlier, I hit a beautiful 5-wood, and I was in between a 5-wood and a 3-iron. I thought the 3-iron, because of the kind of sidehill lie I had, it was not going to come high enough, and it was just going to carry on the front and maybe not even stop. So I decided to aim way left with my 5-wood and cut it and try to get it a bit higher, and it worked out just fine.

Q. You talked about the new hole at No. 4. Can you give me your general impressions of that hole beyond the birdie?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Tricky one. It's a tricky one. There's obviously -- the green just goes away. I think we should play that hole from the front tee all week, just because from the back tee it's a little too funky. You're going to be hitting maybe a 5-wood into a very narrow space, and it's going to be hard to even hold the green from 100 yards, and then if you hit driver and you get it up there where you have 50 yards, you can be in the middle of the fairway and I don't think you're going to be able to hold the green.
It's a tricky one. It's a good hole from the front, I believe, and I'm just trying to get it over that green somehow and just chip it back up.

Q. Mike Weir said he felt it was an advantage for him playing in the first group today with the greens running fast but perfectly. What were conditions like this afternoon on the greens?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: The greens are rolling fine. Obviously you're going to see more spike marks in the afternoon, but they were still good. I mean, they're getting firm, they're healthy, they're quick, and I liked them today (smiling).

Q. There was a particular group playing behind you that's pretty well known. Did you have much of a following or did it pick up at all as your score was going lower?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: People were great. It's packed out here. I know it's Friday, but there were a lot of people out there. They were very supportive, and I really much enjoyed playing good golf in front of them.

Q. Are you able to divide your attention between the playoff points and just trying to win a tournament?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: What was that again?

Q. Are you concentrating on just winning a tournament or are you worried about the playoff system? Is that dividing your attention?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: I think this whole playoff thing is not going to change the way we play. You get on the golf course, you've got to go. You've got to be focused, you've got to hit every shot, you've got to be committed to every shot, and you've got to stick to your plan.
Is it going to be fun for the fans? I think it is, because it's very easy to pass people and very easy to get passed. So there's going to be a lot more action going on.
I don't think it's going to change much the way we play, at least the way I play. I mean, I have the same objective every week, try to tee it up, try to focus on every shot, try to win a golf tournament, and I can't be thinking about points and stuff.

Q. You had a very successful rookie season last year on the PGA TOUR. How would you rate this year, and did you set yourself greater expectations?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: I am a little hard on myself, but I think it's been a great year. It's been a great learning experience year. The first year it's always you're kind of experimenting and just trying to see what's out there and trying to just compare yourself against where you are. It was a fun year, it was a great year my rookie year, and this year has been a little bit different. It's been a little bit slower. I learned that I cannot play every week, that I've got to rest. It doesn't matter that I'm 25 years old. It's a tough mental game, and I've been learning a lot.
Like I said, I've been feeling great all year, and that's one of my main objectives, to feel good. If you're feeling good, good things are going to happen. I wish I would have scored a little bit better throughout the year, but you know what, the year is not over, and we can still make it a very special one.
STEWART MOORE: Camilo, great playing today. Good luck the rest of the week.

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