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Camilo Villegas snaps 9-year winless drought, Lilia Vu rallies to win The Annika

Camilo Villegas snaps 9-year winless drought, Lilia Vu rallies to win The Annika

Camilo Villegas snaps 9-year winless drought, Lilia Vu rallies to win The Annika

November 13, 2023

The Sunday Swing 
November 12th, 2023 

Welcome back to another edition of the Sunday Swing presented by 2nd Swing Golf. This week in the world of golf, the PGA Tour was in action at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, and the LPGA Tour played The Annika Driven by Gainbridge at Pelican. 

Butterfield Bermuda Championship - Tournament History 

The Butterfield Bermuda Championship is one of the newest events on the PGA Tour. Debuting in 2019, the event is played at Port Royal Golf Course designed by Robert Trent Jones in Southampton Parish, Bermuda. Measuring just 6,828 yards, the PGA Tour’s best are able to make birdies in bunches and will need to if they want to earn a victory. Not only do players earn FedEx Cup points at this event, the winner receives an invite to the Masters Tournament in April. Former Masters champ Adam Scott headlined the field, along with a bunch of Tour veterans and youngsters. Among the group of veterans was 41-year-old Camilo Villegas, who is in the middle of a career renaissance. Villegas has been known throughout his career for his unconventional green reading technique that gave him the nickname “Spider Man”. He entered the week off of a solid week last week where he finished in a tie for second at the World Wide Technology Championship, but he hasn’t won a Tour event in over nine years. The previous five champions of this event are as follows: 

2023 - Camilo Villegas (-24)
2022 - Seamus Power (-19)
2021 - Lucas Herbert (-15)
2020 - Brian Gay (-15)
2019 - Brendon Todd (-24) 

The Big Swing 

This week the Big Swing goes to Camilo Villegas, who was able to end his nine-year victory drought on Sunday in Bermuda. Villegas opened the week picking up where he left off at the WWTC the week prior with a Thursday 67. Swedish veteran Alex Noren came out firing with a 10-under 61 to open the week. Champions Tour regular Stewart Cink also started hot with an opening 64, taking advantage of a short setup. On Friday, Villegas put his foot on the gas, making eight birdies and no bogeys for a round of 63 to surge up the leaderboard. Noren, Scott, and Cink also continued to play well heading into the weekend. 

On Saturday, players kept pushing forward with continuous birdies hoping to get as close to the leaders as possible before Sunday. Villegas was amongst the chasers, and he was able to make seven birdies along with just one bogey, positioning himself two behind Noren heading into the final round. 

On Sunday, the final trio consisted of Villegas, Noren, and Matti Schmid. Of the three players in the final group, it was Villegas that looked the most comfortable. He began his round with a couple of pars before making birdies on Nos. 3, 4, 5, and 7. Noren matched with birdies of his own on 3, 6, and 7 to maintain the lead. Schmid, meanwhile, was keeping pace, also making three birdies on the front. 

After a couple of mid-round bogeys from Noren, Villegas’ steady golf lifted him into the lead. Birdies on Nos. 15 and 17 then increased the lead to two shots with one hole to play. 

Just as he had the entire week, Villegas hit the fairway, hit the green in regulation, and two-putted for par to earn his first Tour win in nearly a decade. 

Winner’s Bag - Camilo Villegas 

Camilo Villegas put on a show in Bermuda this week making 27 birdies out of the 72 holes played, using an all but conventional setup in the bag that includes many older club models. 

Off the tee, Villegas plays the Titleist TSi3 driver (11 degrees) Key in the TSi3 is the SureFit Weight track that allows golfers to adjust the center of gravity toward the heel or toe. 

Continuing the prior gen trend, Villegas has a couple of TaylorMade fairway woods in the bag – an M4 3-wood (16.5 degrees) and M2 5-wood (21 degrees) that plays more like a 7-wood. Each of these is designed for both high ball speeds and high launch to allow Villegas to land the ball softly on long approach shots. 

Villegas also has a Titleist TSi2 5-hybrid (24 degrees), which is one of the higher-lofted hybrids on Tour. Nonetheless, it works for Villegas thanks to a thin face that produces fast ball speeds.

Powering his iron game is a combo set consisting of Srixon ZX5 MK II irons (4-5) and Srixon ZX7 MKII irons (6-PW). The irons proved valuable for Villegas, who led the tournament in greens in regulation (59/72). 

Villegas only carries two wedges – a pair of Titleist Vokey SM9s (54 and 60 degrees) that helped him scramble successfully on 10 of the 13 greens he did miss in regulation. 

The most unique part of the bag comes on the greens. Villegas employs a L.A.B. Mezz.1 Max putter, thanks to a recommendation from Scott. The Mezz.1 Max is designed for extremely high MOI and is quickly becoming a popular choice among tour professionals.

In the World of Women’s Golf 

This week the LPGA Tour was in Belleair, Florida at Pelican Golf Club for the Annika Driven by Gainbridge. A lot of the usual suspects headlined the field this week, including Nelly Korda, Jin Young Ko, Lydia Ko, Allisen Corpuz, and Lilia Vu. Despite all the star power in the field, Lilia Vu proved again why she is a force to be reckoned with on the LPGA Tour. Vu, who is already a three-time winner and two-time major winner this season, teed off with the expectation that she would continue her high level of play. She did exactly that throughout the week, carding four rounds in the 60’s (67, 66, 62, 66) including a blistering Saturday 62. In the end Vu would win by three over Alison Lee and Azahara Munoz. In total, Vu made 25 birdies on the week with just 6 bogeys to claim her fourth title of 2023 and solidify herself as a clear favorite for Player of the Year.

Winner’s Bag - Lilia Vu

Lilia Vu has made her presence felt on the LPGA Tour all season long, and another win at the Annika Driven by Gainbridge is just another weekend for Vu. She earned her fourth win of the season with an eclectic mix of clubs in the bag.

Vu’s driver is a TaylorMade Stealth, and it was a weapon for her all week. She hit a superb 49 of 56 fairways for the week while maintaining an average driving distance of 262 yards.

Vu’s next longest clubs consist of a pair of Callaway Apex Utility Woods (2021 version), which are designed to offer the best benefits of both a fairway wood and a hybrid. Vu plays one of her Apex UWs at 15 degrees as a de facto 3-wood, and the other around 20 degrees.

Just as on the PGA Tour with Villegas, Vu’s bag also consists of a combo set of Srixon irons. But Vu’s is a little different, featuring a Srixon Z585 4-iron and Srixon ZX7 MK II irons in the rest of the set. She was deadly with her irons, hitting at least 14 of 18 greens in each round.

Vu’s short game is powered by Titleist – two Titleist Vokey SM8 wedges and a Scotty Cameron GOLO 5 putter.