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Villegas wins Honda Classic by 5 strokes

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Camilo Villegas' week started with one celebration, then ended with another.

Villegas shot a 68 to win the Honda Classic by five shots Sunday over Anthony Kim, giving the Colombian his third PGA Tour victory. Villegas finished at 13-under-par 267, the lowest 72-hole score since the Honda moved to PGA National in 2007, four shots better than Y.E. Yang's total a year ago.

Villegas made it look easy most of the way, capping his day with a 20-footer for birdie, then raising his hands skyward.

"It's been a long week, man," he said. "But man, it's been a good one. I just loved every second of it."

Midway through his round, it seemed as if Villegas could waltz to the win. He led by only two after Vijay Singh made a 45-foot birdie putt at the par-3 fifth, but three straight birdies - starting with a 25-footer on No. 8 - sent Villegas to 15 under and six shots clear of the field.

Good thing he had that cushion, because the putter stopped working after that.

Fortunately for Villegas, no one made much of a run. He missed short par putts on 11 and 12, three-putted from 50 feet on the par-3 15th for another bogey, but never lost control of the lead and ended up pocketing $1.008 million.

Villegas finally acknowledged the crowd as he walked up 18, waving and secure in the knowledge that he was getting his first victory since the Tour Championship in 2008.

"Fair play to him," Justin Rose said. "It was nice to even be in a position to kind of think that way, no doubt."

Kim shot 67 and Rose had by far the best round of the day, a 64 that was three shots better than anyone else. Paul Casey (67) and Singh (72) tied for fourth, seven shots back.

Villegas didn't even play a practice round at PGA National this week, after a travel schedule that he somehow found exhilarating.

After finishing tied for eighth at the Phoenix Open, Villegas headed back to his native Colombia on Monday for a slew of events - sponsor dinner, youth clinic, pre-tournament party, all within about a 36-hour window - to help open the Nationwide Tour's Pacific Rubiales Bogota Open, the first PGA Tour-sanctioned event in South America.

Villegas showed up Wednesday in South Florida, rolled out of bed Thursday to start the tournament, and just kept rolling. An opening-round 66 had him tied for second, another 66 on Friday earned him a share of the lead, and he left the course Saturday night up by three after shooting 67.


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