Camilo Villegas: Transforming Golf's Fashion Guru into a Top 10 Player

Ron FurlongAnalyst IIMay 1, 2010

CHARLOTTE, NC - APRIL 29:  Camilo Villegas of Colombia lines up a putt during the first round of the Quail Hollow Championship at Quail Hollow Country Club on April 29, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

He is a walking fashion statement. More young ladies are sprinkled throughout his gallery than any other player. He has to live with the label Golf Digest annually bestows upon him as "The Sexiest Player on Tour"; something that embarrasses him.

He has to shake a bit of a primadonna label that he has helped put on himself (he once publically yelled at his agent, finishing with, "And these pants! They suck!").

What Camilo Villegas wants to be known as is not the pretty boy of golf. He wants to be known as a golfer. And not just a good golfer. A great golfer. Maybe, slowly, that is starting to happen for him.

Camilo Villegas is playing some very good golf; maybe the best of his professional career.

This weekend, the 28-year-old Columbian is in good position at the halfway point of the Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte. Villegas, ranked 12th in the world, is sitting at five under par and is in a tie for seventh, three back of leader Billy Mayfair.

Villegas had a great first round, shooting a five-under-par 67. He was able to shoot par 72 on day two, keeping himself in the hunt.

Villegas has already won once on tour this year, taking the Honda Classic back in early March. He is fourth on the money list in 2010 and 5th in the Fed Ex Cup standings.

A long hitter but not always accurate, Camilo is 10th on tour in distance but only 111th in accuracy. Quail Hollow is a course that rewards straight hitters, so Villegas may not have been a strong choice going into the weekend. However, he is driving the ball well so far this week and his confidence seems strong.

After his 67 on Thursday he was upbeat in the news conference. When asked about how he likes to work the ball he said, "It's a tough course. If you like moving it around you can move it around, it's good. I mean, when you're in trouble, those shots come in handy. But then again, I just like being creative. I like having fun out there, especially when I'm feeling good."

Camilo does have a strong field to contend with over the weekend. Although the world's number one player, Tiger Woods, didn't make the cut, the leaderboard is stacked.

Angel Cabrera trails Mayfair by one shot, and a host of other strong names are within striking distance; including Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, and Rory McIlroy.

Villegas adjeres to a strict workout regiment and is in terrific shape. His hero and mentor is Gary Player. He was thrilled to be able to star alongside Player in a Mastercard "Priceless" commercial.

Camilo Villegas wants to bring his game to the next level. He wants to shake the pretty boy image. Hovering just outside the top 10 in the World Rankings, a win at Quail Hollow would go a long way to propel him toward that goal.