Villegas hoping to turn season around


AUGUSTA, Ga. – Camilo Villegas did a double take as he made his way around Augusta National in his best start in five Masters’ appearances.

“I saw Lorena Ochoa following me,” Villegas said. “I didn’t get a chance to talk to her, but I saw her.”

Ochoa, the former women’s world No. 1 in golf, should have been impressed. Villegas says hard lessons learned at Augusta National helped him open with a 70.

' Playing here has taught me a lot, the most important thing is that it is a course you have to respect but not fear,' Villegas said.

Villegas is hoping to shake a sluggish start to the 2011 season with a big week.

“It hasn’t been the best start, and maybe I haven’t felt the best, but you have to go out there with what you got,” said Villegas, who’s struggled with back pain this season. “You have to play with heart. That’s what I did.”

In eight PGA Tour starts this year, Villegas has missed the cut three times, been disqualified once and withdrawn once. His best finish is T35 at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

“Believe it or not, at the end of last year and beginning of this year, I said I’ve got to get better and work harder, and I tried too hard,” Villegas said.