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Going south: Villegas goes from 1st to MC at Honda

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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Here’s a trivia question that has some newsworthy undertones: Who was the last first-round leader on the PGA Tour to miss the cut?

Rod Pampling was the last to do that in a major championship, posting scores of 71-86 at the 1999 Open Championship. Davis Love III was one of the more famous cases, failing to reach the weekend at the 2006 Players Championship.

But the answer is … Jim Renner at the 2011 Travelers Championship. Not only is this a tough one because Renner is hardly a big name, but he wasn’t the overnight leader in Hartford that year, as heavy rain delayed play on Thursday afternoon. When he returned Friday morning, Renner claimed the lead, then quickly started his second round and failed to replicate that success.

Sorry, the answer was Jim Renner. It’s not anymore.

That’s because past champion Camilo Villegas followed his opening-round 64 at the Honda Classic with a 7-over 77 to miss the cut.

Villegas’ round started poorly and never got better. Playing the back nine first, he opened bogey-double bogey, then added four more bogeys over the final 16 holes. One day after posting an eagle and four birdies, he failed to put a red number on the scorecard.

After failing to post a top-10 finish in 25 starts last season, when he came in 150th on the money list, Villegas is playing with conditional status this year, trying to get into tournaments as a past champion or via sponsor’s exemptions.

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