The numbers say 29-year-old Manuel Villegas has had a pretty good year on the Web.com Tour – he’s 48th on the money list with $85,907 in earnings, has made the cut in 10 of 17 events and has five top-25 finishes – but he had expected better.
I’ve been inconsistent, he said in a telephone interview from Colombia. I’d like to be more consistent. But it’s golf, and it’s very competitive on the tour. I would say for it being my first time up there (playing professionally in the U.S), I’ve done a decently good job. I wouldn’t say it’s been a bad year. But I could do better.
Villegas is expected to participate this week in the Hotel Fitness Championship at Sycamore Hills Golf Club, which is the first of four stages within the Web.com Tour Finals and will decide PGA Tour cards for next season.
The players eligible to participate are ranked 126 to 200 in the PGA Tour’s FedExCup standings and the top 75 players on the Web.com Tour.
The PGA Tour players who have committed to participate in the event, which is in its second year, include Chad Campbell, Sean O’Hair, J.J. Henry, Heath Slocum, Ben Curtis and defending-champion Trevor Immelman, who is also a Masters winner.
Players begin their practice rounds today and Tuesday, though those are closed to the public because of the recent rainfall.
There will be a Wednesday pro-am, which benefits the Evans Scholars and the Mad Anthonys Children’s Hope House, and the championship is Thursday to Sunday.
Villegas, who played at the University of Florida, has been a professional since 2008, when he won the Colombian Open.
In 2009, he won the Máster Profesional on the Colombian Tour.
In 2010, he played 11 Web.com Tour events, and has since spent much time playing in PGA Tour Latinoamérica.
His place in the Hotel Fitness Championship secure, Villegas decided to rest for three weeks prior to the tournament.
I tend to get a little bit tired after too much golf, he said.
So I have to take a little break. The schedule is tough, not just all the playing, but the travel and the grinding can wear on you. For me, it’s important to get some rest and a little bit of a better attitude out there.
I tend to get a little grumpy and maybe not as motivated when I’m not energized, and that’s something I need to keep in mind in the future.
I can’t complain because, obviously, you’re glad to have a lot of tournaments to play in and a lot of opportunities to be out there, but it can get tiring on tour.
Villegas pointed out that the top players in the world are wise to get some relaxation, especially before big tournaments. He hopes that method pays off for him at Sycamore Hills.
Whenever they come to the tournaments, they’re ready and determined to play well, Villegas said. You don’t see Tiger (Woods) or Adam Scott or Rory McIllroy play five or six or seven tournaments in a row. You can get off your game and get a little tired.
Villegas should have an idea of what it takes to succeed; his brother, Camilo, is a four-time champion on the PGA Tour including the Wyndham Championship this month. We live together in Jupiter, Florida, but I’ve only seen him probably three days this year, Manuel said.
We chat every now and then, and I keep track of his stuff. I haven’t played with him since January, though.
If Manuel does well in the Web.Com Tour Finals, he may see his brother a lot more often next year – on the PGA Tour.