Camilo Villegas’ Win At The Bermuda Championship Is Among The Most Emotionally Moving Sports Stories Ever

Camilo Villegas
Lynne Cameron/PA Images via Getty Images

All the way back in 2004 was when Camilo Villegas first earned his way onto the PGA Tour. He ascended to stardom in rather rapid fashion with his exceptional all-around game, peak physique, and his signature “Spider-Man’ green-reading methods.

Villegas ranked as high as seventh in the world in 2008, and collected four PGA Tour victories through 2014. However, the Colombia native faced significant adversity as a golfer, and more than anyone should ever bear away from the links.

His 22-month-old daughter Mia died from spine and brain tumors in July 2020. Allow my ex-colleague Danny Rap to take it away for more context:

With the PGA Tour’s wraparound schedule, it’s easy to write off some of these early-season tournaments before the calendar year changes.

But it’s these types of success stories that make the Tour so special — and Villegas’ comeback is among the most extraordinary this writer has seen in his entire life.

On the strength of a final-round, six-under 65 at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship on Sunday, Villegas closed like a champion and earned his first PGA Tour victory in over a decade.

And afterwards, you could see all the emotion pour out of a man who’s had to grind his way beyond belief not only to overcome unimaginable grief, but reascend among the globe’s elite in a notoriously mental mind melter of a sport as golf.

Villegas spoke of the good vibes and energy that he felt after his recent close call in another tournament — and gave his late daughter a shout out by looking up to the heavens.

“I’ve got my little one up there, watching it, smiling. She’s where she needs to be.”

Unfathomable to grasp what Villegas has been through over the past few years. To function as a human being is one thing. To reclaim your place at the pinnacle of professional golf at the highest level is something else entirely.

Congratulations to Camilo Villegas. It’s such a joy to see him back with his game arguably as strong as ever. But it extends so far beyond the course for him. You can’t say enough about the man. Impossible not to have tears in your eyes or at least feel profoundly moved by what Villegas has done here.

Full final-round highlights and even more below on how his daughter’s tragedy reshaped Villegas’ perspective and life.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock