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September 9, 2009

Camilo Villegas


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Defending champion Camilo Villegas, thank you for joining us here at the BMW Championship, third event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs to the FedExCup. This is where you won your first event in St. Louis, but a couple comments about coming back to defend your title.
CAMILO VILLEGAS: I'm excited, obviously. This tournament has been special to me. It all goes back to 2004 when I got a sponsor invite coming out of college. Actually it was my first sponsor invite. I got qualified for the U.S. Open, and then I came here, and they've been treating me great ever since.
The golf course is a great golf course. The town is a great town, great fans, and to make it my first win was special. Glad to be here, excited, and hopefully I can step up my game a little bit.

Q. Backing up a couple weeks, had the wrist been bothering you, I guess left wrist?

Q. What did you do to yourself there? It must have hurt to back out of there and walk away that week with no points.
CAMILO VILLEGAS: It bothered me a little bit in the gym the day before. I hit a 5-wood out of the rough on 17. Had a bad lie and just kind of tweaked it a little bit. And I decided just to go check it out and be healthy for the next three weeks. It's fine.
It's actually my right wrist that has a little, little pinch here, but it's fine. Nothing serious.

Q. Where did the right wrist come from?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: I have no clue. I don't know, just last two days a little tiny thing. But I mean, nothing -- I shouldn't have even said it. It's not even significant to write it down.

Q. How much have you seen of the golf course, and what do you think of the redesign and the greens and so on?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Played nine holes yesterday, and I played 18 today. Definitely long. The bunkers are definitely deep. It's going to be interesting how they set it up. You can set it up so many different ways.
The way we played today, I started on the back nine and I hit hybrid into the first par-3, then I hit hybrid into the second par-3. Then I go to No. 2 and I hit another hybrid, and then I hit a 5-iron into the 6th hole. So those par-3s are definitely long, but they've got plenty of tees. And I'm hoping they're listening to me and when they tuck those pins they can just make it fun, because when you get a golf course that's so long and you have so many little sections on the greens and guys start shooting at the middle of the green just because they have 5-irons and 4-irons, that's not too much fun.
If you play it a little bit shorter, if you set it up a little bit shorter, and all of a sudden you get guys going with 8-irons or something and you have these tiny little sections, guys are going to be a little more aggressive. They're going to go at the pins. It's going to be more fun for the crowd, it's going to be more fun for us. You're going to see more birdies, you're going to see more bogeys.
Overall, the golf course looks great. It's in great shape, and I'm just kind of anxious to see how they set it up.

Q. What are you expecting out of the Presidents Cup, what kind of experience?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: I'm excited. It's my first one. I don't really know what to expect. I just want to go there and play good golf, have fun with the team. I haven't played like a "team" team event since college, and I loved playing college golf. Not only that, but I'm just wearing my country's flag on the chest. I want to represent them as good as I can and hopefully add some points.

Q. Are you going to have the flag of Colombia on your shirt?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Well, I always have it, man. Can't you see? I'm kidding. But no, it's always there. The answer to that one is no, I'm not going to have a physical flag there. But I'm just representing my country every week.
When things are not going great, it's always nice to just think of little things like that, and if you don't get motivated with that, then you've got problems.

Q. Why do you think it's important to participate in charitable events like this?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Well, the PGA TOUR, not only this one, but we do a lot of charity throughout the year. Not only the PGA TOUR but individuals, players. They have their own foundations and they give back. We are very fortunate to do what we do, even though it's a lot harder than people think. It's always nice to give back and just help people that really need it.
This week it's a great example with the Evans Scholars, and they've done it for -- I don't know exactly how many years, but I was talking with a couple of the guys that were caddying out there, they're ex -- how do you say it, graduated Evans Scholars, and the numbers are a joke, like 4,000, 5,000 guys that have graduated under the same program. It's very neat, very special.

Q. Post-Presidents Cup, because you've got this Race to Dubai thing on the table for you and you've actually got a shot --

Q. Yeah, if it's still around. What are you doing in the immediate aftermath of the Presidents Cup because this is the busiest time of year for most guys, and then they're going to stop and presumably you just keep right on going?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: It's going to be interesting to see what happens. I'm committed to play in the Match Play in Spain, and then who knows. Believe it or not, I'm not in HSBC. It's interesting how the system is working at a World Golf event. I think I was counting a couple weeks ago, out of the Top 30 and Top 15 in the world, there's so many guys that are not in it. So that's one more reason to step my game up this week. And then we'll see what happens at the end.

Q. You've played the 15th hole. How did you play it, and what do you think its strategic value is as the shortest par-5 out here?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: 15th hole, yeah. It's the only reachable one. You know, that hole didn't change too much. The green did, but our tee shots are similar. They added that bunker down the right, but still like 300 through -- it played about eight yards up, so it's 308 adjusted to the bunker. You just hit a driver to the right side, and then the green is severe, so depending on what club you're coming in with, you just maybe attack or go to the middle of the green and try to make your 4 and get out of there.

Q. So right now Match Play is the only one you'd be adding before going to the Dubai finale, assuming you're still in the top 60 of the European Tour?

Q. If you look back at your year, you added a few early, went overseas, took up basically joint membership, did you spread yourself too thin?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: It's been an interesting year. Travel-wise it didn't really change too much for me. I added a tournament in Australia, and then I played Scottish Open, but it's the week before British Open, so I played two events in one trip. And that's it. So other than that, it hasn't really changed the amount of traveling other than just adding one trip to Australia, which is just around the corner. (Laughter.)
That's it. But it's going to be interesting to see what we play at the end of the year, and then we'll make an analysis of how the year was, and then we'll try to do the right call for next year.

Q. So next year would be -- you'd have to re-think before definitely signing on for both Tours next year?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Not really. What I meant is the right cause and where we're going to go, where we're going to play. I've heard the schedule is changing a little bit. As of right now I haven't won a tournament, so I'm not in Maui. So things could change.

Q. I'm just wondering what your reaction was to Adam Scott's selection. Did it catch you by surprise? Be honest.
CAMILO VILLEGAS: I heard "be honest" out there. You know, it's 12 guys. They can all play golf. When somebody needs to make two picks, there's going to be happy individuals and there's going to be individuals that are not going to be happy with the calls. I'm sure the guys that are happy are going to show it, and the guys that are not happy are going to show it. I'm just not going to show anything.

Q. Do you think it's putting a lot of pressure on Adam to perform now? Is that fair?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: You know, Scotty hasn't played great this year, and we all know it. But I hope he comes to Presidents Cup, it's match play, a little bit different format, got one of his good buddies right next to him, plays good matches, gets some good points and gets back on track. Because the reality is that the line between playing bad or just poorly or good or great is extremely thin.

Q. Is there a Nationwide event in Colombia coming up next year?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: I don't know. You know, I'm not going to say yes because I know it's not 100 percent sure, but we've been working hard on it. I know Bill Calfee went to recently visit Colombia, and all I can tell you is that I've heard great comments from the people I talked to in Colombia and some of the guys on Tour that I've talked to.
It would be great for the game. I hope it ends up happening, because golf in not only Colombia but in South America keeps growing. We all know Cabrera with two majors, Argentina is here in terms of golf in Latin America and then we've got all the other countries. But it keeps growing.
Not only that, but anybody that goes there, they're going to see the reality of Colombia, which is very different than what people think. So that's nice. Hopefully it happens.

Q. If it does happen, would you --
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Great question. Next?

Q. Would you be expected to play?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: I play on the PGA TOUR. I'd love to play -- to answer your question, I don't even know what the rules are. Could I play? I don't know. There's a PGA TOUR event -- I don't know. From what I've heard, I can't, and then other guys say I can. I'll just try to play good this week.

Q. And lastly, what is the press coverage of you like in Colombia? Are the expectations so much greater there that it gets difficult?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: I mean, people have been very supportive, not only the media but the fans. And that's nice.
Do I worry about it? Not really. I'm just thankful that they support me. Do I read everything they write? No, I don't read anything they write. Do I listen to everything they say? No, I don't, because if somebody says I'm great, great; if somebody says I'm awful, how is that going to change me? I've still got the same goal. I've still got to show up every day, practice hard, get the ball in the hole and try to win golf tournaments.
But again, I've been very thankful they've been very supportive.

Q. It's probably a stupid question for a guy that rides bicycles 50 miles at a shot, but do you feel any fatigue at this point in the year? I can't remember whether you played Greensboro or not, but this has been a very busy stretch.
CAMILO VILLEGAS: It has, it has.

Q. Do you get grumpy, find yourself being more short-tempered on the golf course?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: We all do. This game drives us crazy. But to answer your question, yes, it's been a long stretch. It's been real tough. I definitely have to change a little bit of the way I eat and the way I work out and the way I've just got to -- just little things. You've got to have energy; you've got to eat well. You've still got to work out, but okay, how are you going to work out? You've got to be rested; you've got to be fresh. It's tough, but we'll see what happens.

Q. What's your routine right now? Are you going to hit balls as much before --
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Actually I'm going to the gym now, and then I've got to do a Titleist commercial after that.

Q. Have you been able to draw upon how you played here before, particularly in 2007? I think you had a Top 10 here. Or has the course changed too much?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: I played good in 2007, you're right. It has changed, but you still have like good feelings. I like the place. I like it here. So hopefully it's a good week for me.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Camilo, thank you. Good luck this week.

End of FastScripts

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