Villegas claims title at Wyndham Championship

Aug 17, 6:25 PM

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) Camilo Villegas won the Wyndham Championship by a stroke Sunday for his first PGA Tour victory since 2010.

Villegas shot a 7-under 63 and finished at 17-under 263. He earned $954,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points in the final regular-season event.

The Colombian had four birdies and an eagle on the front nine, added a birdie on the par-5 15th and took the lead into the clubhouse.

He then watched the rest of the field stumble late, giving him his fourth PGA Tour title and first since the 2010 Honda Classic.

Bill Haas and Freddie Jacobson tied for second. Haas had a 64, and Jacobson shot 66.

Jacobson needed a par on the final hole to force a playoff, but he rolled his 11-foot putt inches past the hole.

Heath Slocum was two strokes back after his 67. Brandt Snedeker, Webb Simpson and third-round leader Nick Watney were at 14 under.

Villegas had to wait about 40 minutes after his round ended before his victory was secure. He closed his round with three straight pars, tapping in from about 2 feet on 18 and hoping it was good enough.

It was - because the crowd near the top of the leaderboard thinned itself out.

Watney was at 17 under and appeared headed for his sixth PGA Tour victory before he ran into trouble on 14 and picked up his third bogey of the tournament and second of the day.

He followed with four straight pars, leaving him needing a birdie on the final hole to tie Villegas.

He had one on Saturday - but couldn't do it again.

He wound up with a double bogey after his tee shot bounced past a cart path and out of bounds.

That came after Jacobson also couldn't catch Villegas.

The Swede's second shot on 18 fell short of the green and his 70-foot birdie putt from the front edge rolled well past the hole before he was wide with his par putt.

Congestion atop the leaderboard was expected after 12 players entered their last trip around Sedgefield within three strokes of third-round leader Watney, who was at 14 under through three rounds.

And Villegas wasn't one of them.

He began five strokes back but made a quick trip up the leaderboard, with three birdies and an eagle among his first five holes to move to 15 under and put himself within striking distance.

The other main subplot here this week was the last-gasp push for spots in the PGA Tour's playoffs, which begin next week at The Barclays in New Jersey.

Slocum, who arrived at No. 158 on the points list, was briefly at 17 under but slipped off the pace by closing with two bogeys that also helped keep him out of The Barclays field. He finished at No. 129.

Paul Casey, 125th at the start of the week, tied for 18th to put himself safely in the field. Martin Laird, who was at No. 136, was near the lead all weekend but his tie for 14th could only propel him to No. 127.

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Eric Bolte

Aug 16, 6:37 PM

Watney takes over lead at Wyndham Championship

Aug 16, 6:37 PM

Greensboro, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Nick Watney carded a 5-under 65 on Saturday and that helped him jump into the lead after 54 holes Wyndham Championship, which is the final event on the PGA Tour's regular-season schedule.

Watney ended three rounds at 14-under-par 196. He is a 5-time winner on the PGA Tour, but his last victory came in 2012 at The Barclays.

Brad Fritsch also posted a 65 in round three to move into second place at minus-13.

Heath Slocum, who shared the second-round lead, shot 2-under 68. He dipped into a share of third place at 12-under-par 198. Slocum was joined there by Freddie Jacobson (66). Slocum needs a third-place finish or better to qualify for the FedExCup playoffs, which start next week.

Scott Langley, who was tied with Slocum after 36 holes, managed a 1-under 69 and he slid into a tie for fifth at minus-11. Brandt Snedeker, the 2007 champion, and 2011 winner Webb Simpson both shot 66s in round three at Sedgefield Country Club to join Langley in fifth place.

Andres Romero fired a 6-under 64, the low round of the day, to jump into a 6- way tie for sixth at 10-under 200.

Feature photo courtesy of REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Aug 15, 8:27 PM

Slocum, Langley share 2nd round lead at Wyndham Championship

Aug 15, 8:27 PM

Greensboro, NC - Heath Slocum and Scott Langley both fired second-round, 5-under 65s on Friday and they share a 1-shot lead heading into the weekend at the Wyndham Championship, which is the final event on the PGA Tour's regular-season schedule.

Slocum and Langley finished 36 holes at 10-under-par 130. Slocum is looking to play his way into the FedExCup playoffs, entering the week at No. 158 in the rankings. Langley is well within the top 125 at No. 81.

Seeking his fifth win on tour, Slocum has not won since the 2010 McGladrey Classic. Langley is still looking for his first win on tour.

Andrew Svoboda (64) held a share of the lead with Slocum and Langley, but Svoboda bogeyed his last hole at Sedgefield Country Club to fall into a tie for third at 9-under 131. He was joined there by Nick Watney (64), Brian Stuard (65) and Martin Laird (66).

First-round leader Camilo Villegas shot a 69 on Friday and he is tied for seventh with eight other players.

Going off in the morning on the front nine, Slocum started off with four straight pars before rolling in his first birdie at No. 5. Slocum gave that shot right back with a bogey at No. 6.

Slocum responded with a 21-foot putt for birdie at No. 8. He followed that up with a great approach from 136 yards out on No. 9, sticking his ball within about a foot of the hole. Slocum kicked that in for his second straight birdie to move to 2-under for the day.

After a par at 10, Slocum tripped to his second bogey at No. 11. Slocum's big run started at No. 13 as he made four straight birdies on just four putts. He added two pars to end his round there.

"I made a good putt (on No. 13) to start off that little stretch, and then I hit a couple good shots in there and still had to make good putts, but I did," Slocum said. "It was nice to hit some good shots and to capitalize with the putts. Personally, I thought the pins were much tougher today, at least I had a hard time getting to some of them. I felt obviously great about my round."

Langley started his day on the back nine and coasted to four straight pars to begin his round. The lefty poured in three straight birdies from 14 before tripping to his first and only bogey at the par-4 17th after missing a 5-foot par putt.

Making the turn at minus-2 for the day, Langley stuck his approach at the par-4 first to about five feet and he drained that putt to start his back nine off right. Following six straight pars, Langley vaulted into a share of the lead with back-to-back birdies at eight and nine.

"I gave myself plenty of opportunities to make birdies," Langley said. "My ball-striking was a little more consistent, especially coming into the greens. I felt pretty well in control of what the ball was going to do, and that's when it's fun. You feel like you can play pretty aggressively and play with very little fear."

NOTES: Based on projections, Slocum needs to finish third or better this week to make the FedExCup playoffs ... This is Slocum's eighth time playing at this event, with his last one coming in 2012. His best finish is a tie for 17th in 2011 ... Langley missed the cut here last year, which was his first appearance ... With the cut at 2-under 138, 78 of the 156 players advanced to the weekend.

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/David Butler II

Aug 14, 7:19 PM

Villegas leads by 1 at Wyndham Championship

Aug 14, 7:19 PM

Greensboro, NC - Camilo Villegas opened up with a 7-under 63 on Thursday and he holds a 1-shot lead heading into the second round of the Wyndham Championship, the final event on the PGA Tour's regular season schedule.

Villegas, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, last won at the Honda Classic in 2010. Villegas is currently No. 105 in the FedExCup playoff standings, with the top 125 moving on to the postseason.

Webb Simpson, who won this event back in 2011 and always seems to play well in Greensboro, is tied for second place at 6-under 64 at Sedgefield Country Club. Thursday's round was the 10th time the 2012 U.S. Open champion has shot a 66 or better at this event.

Joining Simpson at 6-under 64 at Sedgefield Country Club was William McGirt, who has never won on the PGA Tour. McGirt is No. 91 in the FedExCup standings.

Scott Langley, Martin Laird, Paul Casey, Heath Slocum and Andrew Loupe are all tied for fourth at 5-under 65. A total of 10 players finished the first round at 4-under 66 and are three shots back.

Starting on the back nine, Villegas got things started with a birdie at the par-4 10th hole. Following two straight pars, Villegas stuck his approach shot four feet from the hole at No. 13. He kicked that in for his second birdie of the day.

Villegas made another birdie at the par-5 15th, helping him move to 3-under on the day. Villegas made the turn with three straight pars from 16.

Three more pars preceded another birdie at No. 4, where his approach from 149 yards out stuck less than a foot from the hole. Villegas nearly holed out on his second shot at the par-5 fifth and he poured in his 3-foot putt for eagle, getting him to minus-6. One more birdie at No. 7 followed by two straight pars rounded out Villegas' day, giving him the lead heading into day two.

"It was nice to go without bogeys and I think it probably showed it was a consistent round," Villegas said. "Kept it in the fairway, kept it on the greens and just made the putts when I hit it close. Only missed one green, 11, got up and down and other than that I think my birdie putts weren't even that long. I just hit the ball nicely today."

Simpson, starting at No. 1, came storming out of the gate with four straight birdies. Simpson finished off his front nine with four pars and another birdie at the par-3 seventh. He shot a 30 on the front nine.

Simpson made two more birdies on the back nine at 12 and 15. His lone blemish on the day came at No. 17 when he 2-putted for bogey after his approach shot came up just short of the green. Simpson finished things up with a par at 18 to end one shot off the pace.

"I was hitting it good. This course, if you hit it in the fairways and you give yourself chances, you're going to make some birdies, and that was kind of all I did today all day," Simpson said. "It's still tough enough. There's still challenges and there's still spots you can't miss your approaches in, but I started off great, 4-under through four. Should have been 5-under through five."

McGirt made three birdies at two, five and seven to go along with bogeys at one and three, putting him at 1-under as he made the turn. McGirt shot a 30 on the back nine with birdies at 10, 12, 13, 15 and 18 to join Simpson at minus-6.

"I never played that well here," said McGirt, who is from North Carolina like Simpson. "It's nice to get off to a good start. It's nice to have friends and family out for a week. I had mom and dad up here today and a bunch of old friends from home, so it's nice to actually play well in front of them for once."

NOTES: Villegas has struggled so far this year. He does not have a top-10 finish, with his best finish coming at the St. Jude Classic, where he ended tied for 11th ... Simpson's last win came at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open earlier this season ... McGirt has finished in the top-10 twice this year, including a tie for sixth at the Northern Trust Open ... Defending champion Patrick Reed finished his first round at 1-over 71 ... Of those at 5- under, Casey (No. 125), Laird (No. 136), Loupe (No. 145) and Slocum (No. 158) are all fighting to get into the top 125 for a chance to play in the FedExCup playoffs.