[PHOTO: Gregory Shamus]

After tying for second at last week’s World Wide Technology Championship for his first top-three finish since the 2016 RSM Classic, Camilo Villegas could have been disappointed at the near miss or heartened by the close call.

He chose the latter.

Camilo Villegas completes return from tragedy and golf’s abyss to win Bermuda Championship

“The interesting thing with golf is that come next Thursday we start from zero again,” he said afterwards. “You take this performance, you analyse them, try to take the good stuff, learn from it and keep plugging. Like I said, come next Thursday, we all start from zero.”

Villegas might have started the Butterfield Bermuda Championship at zero, but he finished it No.1. He took the title with consistent play accentuated with a few clutch shots down the stretch for his fifth career PGA Tour title but the first in more than nine years.

Villegas, 41, birdied four of the first seven holes to take the lead, then stalled with seven consecutive pars, allowing Alex Noren to remain close, just one shot behind as they played the par-4 15th. With Noren in tight for a likely birdie, Villegas hit his gap wedge and watched as it got swallowed up by the flag then dropped to within a foot to maintain his lead.

A sporty up-and-down from the right greenside bunker for a birdie on the par-5 17th extended his lead to two and essentially sealed the win.

Villegas’ wedges include a 54-degree Titleist Vokey WedgeWords prototype and a 58-degree Vokey SM9. Both have 8 degrees of bounce and Rifle 6.5 shafts.

Those wedges helped Villegas rank fourth in greens in regulation despite ranking 71st in driving distance at just 252.2 metres (275.8 yards). He made only three bogeys, tied for second fewest in the field.

Not bad for a guy that started the week at zero.

The clubs Camilo Villegas used to win the 2023 Butterfield Bermuda Championship:

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (Project X HZRDUS Yellow 6.0), 11 degrees

3-wood: TaylorMade M4, 16.5 degrees

5-wood: TaylorMade M2, 21 degrees

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 24 degrees

Irons (4-5): Srixon ZX5 Mk II; (6-PW): Srixon ZX7 Mk II

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (54-M), Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (60-08M)

Putter: L.A.B. Golf Mezz. 1 Max