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March 24, 2010

Camilo Villegas


MARK STEVENS: Like to welcome Camilo Villegas to the interview room. You're No. 2 in the FedExCup points right now heading into the Arnold Palmer Invitational. If you would talk a little bit about your season so far and your thoughts on the course renovations that Arnold has done in the past year, and then we'll take a few questions.
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Well, yeah, great start to the year. Obviously excited about it. There's a long way to go. Just got to keep it going. Keep having a good attitude and playing good golf.
Excited to be here at Arnie's tournament. He's been so influential in the game of golf in a positive way, and any time you can be part of one of his events, it's special, it motivates you, and at the end of the day, you just want to follow his steps.
Like I said, he's been very influential in a positive way for this game and if by the end of the year, you can give something good -- give back to this game something good, that's very special, and that's exactly what he's doing.

Q. You mentioned at Doral I guess Monday after Honda that it kind of hit you, being fatigued a little bit. I was wondering when you got back home from Doral that Monday, how tired were you?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Yeah, I was. It was a great week at home. I had a chance to spend seven days there, didn't take out my golf clubs, just kind of relaxed, worked out, rode my bike and recharged for this week.

Q. And secondly, you also mentioned that any time you can play in Mr. Palmer's tournament, it's a significant thing. I'm just curious, how much does Arnold Palmer's name resonate in Colombia?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Big time. He's the King. Any time you talk about golf, you get names like Mr. Palmer in there. Again, he's done so many great things for this game. I mean, he's such a good example. I'm just honored to be here. He's great with the players. I mean, every time you walk into player dining, he's there, he'll stand up, shake your hand, talk to you.
He makes you feel like you're important, and that's awesome, coming from a guy that's done so many great things, and taking the time to just have a nice chat and motivate you and thank you for being here, and obviously it shouldn't be that way; we should be thanking him for having us here. It's special.

Q. The Masters is just around the corner. How much are you preparing for that? How do you think your game sets up for Augusta National? And do you feel like you're ready to win a major?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Well, we always dream about winning majors. I've always said it; majors make history. We all want to be part of the history of this game, and we've got four big ones every year. Augusta is a great place, very unique. Golf course is very challenging. I think you've got to -- first two years, I believe I played the golf course with a little fear. Last year after the first round, I changed my attitude. I said I was going to play it with respect, but fearless. So I look a little more aggressive lines and I just carried myself a little more confident.
I played great the last three rounds last year. So heading back this year, hopefully with the same attitude, I haven't heard of any changes. I heard -- actually, I did. They widened that second hole a little bit. That's what I heard. I don't know.
But anyway, we'll be there in a couple of weeks, and like always, trying to step it up on the first tee come Thursday and play a good tournament.

Q. Just following that up, why did you change your approach that way, your attitude?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Well, because I missed the cut two years in a row. If you go back, watching this tournament on TV from back home, it was like you see the ball that trickles back in the water and the gust that comes in the 12th hole, guys that hits it over the green or short of the green, guys losing the tournament coming in; I don't know, for some reason, I had a lot of negative things in my head, just those balls trickling back on the 15th.
I said you know what, it's a tough golf course, it's a challenging golf course; you have to respect it, but you can't fear it. It worked. It worked for. The next three round. I played some putts and I'll be back and see what happens.

Q. You said you would like to follow in Arnold Palmer's footsteps; do you think you can win the Masters four times?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Well, you always try. What I said is you want to follow his footsteps in being a positive influence on this game. I'm not saying I'm going to win four Masters and I'm going to win as many tournaments as he did and I'm going to be the legend he is. But you've got to start somewhere. You've got to look at those guys that have done great things, and let them be an example for you.
I mean, I just want to have a good attitude, I want to represent my country, I want to represent myself, I want to be a good influence on people, I want to represent my sponsors. I want to do all of those great things that he's done. I'm not saying, hey, you know what, I'm going to have the same record he has. That's totally different.

Q. You mentioned that he's well known in your country. I know you do that spot in your native tongue where you say spider man; what would the king be in Colombia? How do you say that and how do you spell that?

Q. And I wanted to ask you about being No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings. Is that something that you pay close attention to week-to-week, and is it something that the players talk about much?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: It's way too early the in season, especially the way the FedExCup points work, you have four tournaments at the end of the year, the Playoffs; pretty much kind of wash the rest of the year. That's the way they want it. There are some guys that like it. There are some guys that don't. But it is what it is. It's the same thing for everybody.
So if you -- I just don't quite understand if you win five, six, seven, eight times in the regular season, and just don't win in the Playoffs, you're not going to win the FedExCup; to me, that's interesting. I mean, you can win four majors and two World Golf Championships and not win it.
But again, it's exciting. It's four weeks of exciting golf, and you've got to step it up. You've got to play good those four weeks. That's why we -- or at least me, I don't pay too much attention at the standings early in the season.

Q. You've got one victory and you're third on the Money List. Does that change at all what your goals are for 2010 now that you're in such a great position?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: It's early. It's early in the year. I'm playing both tours this year. And like I said, there's a long way to go. If you start looking at the standings, looking at the stats, putting pressure on yourself, just raising the expectations, you are just changing the way you're approaching the season.
I mean, when you start, you say, you know what, I want to have a good attitude this year. I want to be focused. I want to give it my best. And I want to focus on the process. If I start looking at the standings, I'm looking more at results. I'll be more result-oriented than process-oriented. It hasn't worked for me in the past, and so why do it.

Q. Can you ever imagine talking about four or five months off and returning to golf, especially at a place like the Masters and trying to contend?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Trust me, the guy is working. The guy is practicing. The guy will be ready to play. He's a smart guy. He'll do everything he can to come back and win a golf tournament.

Q. How about for you, personally, could you ever see yourself doing something like that if you had to take some time off, how would it affect you?
CAMILO VILLEGAS: Come back and win the Masters? It would be a tough one. But I'm not the No. 1 player in the world. I haven't won, how many, 60-something, 70-something events on the PGA TOUR, 13 majors. What is it, 13, 14? 14 majors. A little different. But like I said, he's a smart guy, he's a great player, he's the No. 1 in the world, he's been for a long time. He'll be ready to play and I'll be focusing on my game.
MARK STEVENS: Thank you, Camilo. Good luck this week.

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