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Sunday, November 12, 2023
Villegas Crowned 2023 Bermuda Champion

Camilo Villegas, was crowned the 2023 Butterfield Bermuda Championship Champion.

Villegas claims a $1.17 million and 500 FedExCup points. He tied the tournament record for lowest score at 24-under par, 260, set by Inaugural Champion Brendon Todd.

All week long, Villegas played fast. But on the 18th on Sunday at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, he finally took a breath.

He lagged his Birdie putt on the finishing hole at Port Royal Golf Course to just a foot below the cup and when he realized what it meant, Villegas closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

It was a sigh of relief.

He tapped in the final putt for a six-under 65 to win the Bermuda Championship by two and looked to the sky. Time was standing still. This win meant a whole lot more.

This win was for Mia.

“Tough to put into words right now,” Villegas told Golf Channel. “I love this game. This game has given me so many great things, but in the process, it kicks your butt. Life has given me so many great things, but in the process, it kicks my butt too.”

The win is the first in nine years for the 41-year-old Colombian, however, that time passed far slower for Villegas.

The first two of his now five PGA Tour wins came in back-to-back weeks at the end of the 2008 season when he won both the BMW Championship and Tour Championship. He reached a career-best 7th in the Official World Golf Ranking and even added a follow-up win at the 2010 Honda Classic.

Then his game fell on harder times. He logged a fourth win at the 2014 Wyndham, but between 2012 and 2018, he missed 62 out of 170 cuts on the PGA Tour and then had major shoulder surgery that sidelined him from golf until 2020.

But none of that compared to what happened in his personal life.

While at the Honda Classic in 2020, Villegas, who lives in Florida but was playing a season on the Korn Ferry Tour, noticed something was wrong with Mia. He and his wife Maria took Mia to the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami for scans to see why the 18-month-old was crying more at night and even when she was playing.

A team of doctors told them the news no parents ever want to hear: Mia had cancerous tumors on her brain and spine.

They started treatment, but by July, at just 22 months old, Mia was gone.

However, Villegas didn’t quit, after Mia’s passing. He made several starts on the Korn Ferry Tour in the remainder of 2020 and then returned to the PGA Tour in 2021 on a major medical extension.

After two disappointing seasons, he was relegated to the Korn Ferry Tour for this season. He managed to get in 11 PGA Tour events this season before this week, but until last week’s World Wide Technology Championship in Mexico, he made just three cuts, failing to place better than a tie for 48th in either.
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