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March 10, 2010

Camilo Villegas


CHRIS REIMER: Welcome Camilo Villegas to the World Golf Championships - CA Championship. Great start to the season. Great win last week. Just talk about returning to a course where you've been successful and where you obviously have a great following here in the Miami area.
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Yeah, how are you guys. Excited to be back in Miami. It's been three long weeks. Three pretty exciting, fun weeks. Tends to get a little busy and crazy here, but it's fun. We are so close to my country, and there's so many Colombians and Latin people in this area that even though there will be a lot of distractions out there, you just feel good that they are supporting and you rooting for you. It's a fun week.

Q. With your win at Honda last week, do you feel that the momentum is on your side as you come into this weekend?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Obviously I've had a good start for the year. But it's not the way I think. Just try to keep going. I mean, I've had a great attitude all year, and I came pretty close in the Match Play and I had a chance there at Phoenix. I had a crazy week last week, and to win obviously was very special.
But tomorrow is Thursday, and trust me, every Thursday, we start from zero. We all start at the same score, and it's time to forget what happened the previous week and focus on every shot.

Q. You've had hot streaks before. Is there anything that makes this one different?

Q. This particular streak of good play.
CAMILO VILLEGAS: I just hope it's a long one. That's all I can say.
No, I've had a good attitude. I've been really working on the mental side of the game, and it's funny, man. It's a tricky game and it's so easy for people to say, you've got to have a good attitude. It's easier said than done. To say it, and then to go out there and actually do it and then focus on the process and then to get good results, it's fun. It makes my job pretty exciting so. Just got to keep doing the same thing, man.

Q. You went back-to-back two years ago, and I was just wondering, a lot of guys when they win it takes a lot out of you, you have to do a lot of interviews and a lot of stuff. It's a nice problem to have but I wonder how you avoided that pitfall two years ago and is that where physical training comes in for just not allowing yourself to get tired?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Yeah, balance is key. Last year I felt a little tired, but still, I had a pretty consistent year. I played 27 events, missed three cuts, made the cut in every major. I just felt a little frustrated because I felt I should have played a little bit better.
This year, the last three weeks, like I said, it's been busy and this week will be busy and then I'll finally have a week off and I've just got to regroup. I've got to have that balance I told you, and make sure when it's time to work, it's time to work. When it's time to rest, it's time to rest. When it's time to work, it's time to work. Got to make sure everything is good. You've got to surround yourself around the right people and be fresh when Thursday comes.

Q. So many things are brought to you this week: You have a larger gallery gathering, and within this resort, but do you ever leave the grounds to go see Miami? Do you go out to certain areas?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Oh, I've seen Miami many times.

Q. What's your favorite part?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Oh, man, I like it here. I just think you've got so much variety of people and cultures, and again, I've got a lot of friends. So you kind of feel in Miami, you feel in Colombia; it's interesting.

Q. After you won on Sunday, you mentioned that you hoped that they would take the newspaper and decide it half and half between your victory and the Nationwide Tour event that was down there; how did it turn out and what was the response to your victory on Sunday back home?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: It was great. I told you guys, I don't read newspapers, and that's just being honest. That's the truth. You read one paper everything is so good and you go next week and miss the cut and everything seems so bad. I understand the job of the media and doing the newspapers and doing everything, but I try to stay a little bit away from it, and the reason why is because if I win one week, and I read the newspaper, or if I miss the cut the next week and I read the newspaper, it's not going to change me as a person at all. I still have the same goals. I still try and accomplish the same thing.
I did get a lot of e-mails. I did get a lot of calls. So it was fun. I mean, it was good. I heard great response in terms of the Nationwide event, so I'm sure both accomplishments were good for the country and for the people, and it just motivates people for bigger and better things.
Again, new week. Got to keep it going, man.

Q. Given all of the travel last week, of course, and it had been busy for you leading up to that; was there a time Sunday night or any time Monday where you had to just disconnect for about 12 hours and get some rest, or were you able to keep going? What was Sunday and Monday like for you?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Actually yesterday I felt so tired. Last week I felt fine. I kind of had a good feeling last week. Everything seemed to be going the right way and I was excited, and I didn't really feel tired. Then Monday, I did a couple hard workouts, and then yesterday I was like, I was just beat. I was like, man, I need to relax. So I just played nine holes, and this morning I just played nine holes.
I'll just be getting a little treatment in the afternoon and try and recover and be fresh for tomorrow.

Q. We saw some fans out there today wearing the Colombian-colored shirts. Do you feed off the gallery that comes to support you that are your countrymen, and how important is it -- a couple of people mentioned today that you are the Ambassador of Golf in Colombia with the Nationwide tournament there?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: It's awesome to see the Colombian flags and the guys with the shirts and all that good stuff, but you've got to be careful. You've got to be careful because it can distract you a little bit. So you know they are there. You know they are supporting you. But it's one shot at a time. You've got to be focused, look forward, and just focus on playing good golf. If you play good golf, they are going to have a good time, and it will be a win/win situation.
And so answer your second part of the question, I'm honored to be able to represent my country and, what I've always said, if at the end of my career if people can look at me and say, this kid or this guy, he's a hard worker and he cares about his people and his country, and is a positive influence, that's all I can ask for.

Q. You talked last week about the Nationwide Tour event, hoping it would change some of the perceptions of Colombia to the Colombia you know; can you talk about how it felt and when you realized that the Colombia that you know and other Colombians know is not the Colombia that is portrayed in the U.S. media?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Yeah, you know what, I had a chance to talk with a lot of the American players and the guys that organized the tournament, caddies and everything, and I haven't heard anything bad yet. They seemed to really enjoy it. The golf course was in good shape. The people were very friendly and they had a good time down there. That's the main thing, to get people down there, to show them reality, and just like every country in the world, we have our own problems. But it's a great place. I love it.

Q. When you first came here, how did you feel when you realized what the perceptions of outside Colombia were of Colombia? How did that make you feel? Did that hurt?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Well, it is what it is. It is what it is, but to have a chance to represent my country and just say, be a little influential when it comes to perceptions, reality and truth, it's special.

Q. If I'm not mistaken, you're the last PGA TOUR player to win back-to-back, I don't think even the No. 1 won back-to-back last year. How balanced is the top 20 or even the top 50 in the world, particularly when you get them all together in the same event like this week?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: It's awesome. It's a great field. You've just got to keep plugging. Again, you've got to focus on the process. It's not about -- you know what, you always want to win golf tournaments, but it's not how -- it's not about winning golf tournaments, it's about how you win golf tournaments and about putting yourself in position to win golf tournaments.
At the end of the day I just have to keep doing what's been good to me this year and I'll go back and repeat it and hopefully keep repeating it for the rest of the year: Having a good attitude, being excited about being here, being excited about being on the first tee, being excited to just stop for five minutes and sign some autographs and have a balance; the rest, the workout, the practice, the media, all that stuff. So just got to be patient.

Q. Is the talent level amongst the top 20, top 50, as close together?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: You know, it can't be more true when they say these guys are good. It is what it is. These guys are good. You see everybody grinding. You see everybody getting more and more in shape. You see everybody practicing harder and having more shots and the equipment getting better and all that stuff. That's why it's so hard to win golf tournaments, and again, we have one guy that makes us look bad all the time, but if you go down the list in the top 30, top 40, top 50 guys, guys don't win that much out here. I mean, we don't win that much out here. That shows the depth of the fields and the caliber of great players that we have on the PGA TOUR.

Q. I know you've only played nine holes yesterday and nine today and you've probably been around the fairway, but have you noticed because of the weather, the grass, the rough being really low on this course and what can happen if that's the case out there at Doral?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Yeah, the rough is a little more patchy this year, a little bit shorter than at least last year of what I remember.
We'll find out. The scores might be a little lower, but again, it's going to rain and who knows what the winds are going to do. It's just -- I don't know, we'll find out what happens.
CHRIS REIMER: Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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