I guess all it took was his 1st Tour victory to get the Villegas express rolling. Three weeks after winning his first tournament, the BMW Championship, Villegas defeated Sergio Garcia on the first playoff hole to make THE Tour Championship his 2nd consecutive win. Villegas carded a 66 to gain back the five stroke advantage Garcia had when the day's play started. Garcia's missed putt on 18 for a win in regulation set up the playoff on the 233 yd., par three 18th hole. Garcia's tee shot went right rough, his chip didn't make the putting surface and another chip to stay alive missed as well. Villegas calmly two putted fron 45 ft. to seal the victory. He caught Garcia with a birdie on the 17th hole which made it 6 birdies in his last 11 holes. En fuego indeed!
The other two big names in the mix were Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim. Kim played steadily most of the day, but missed a 30 footer for birdie on 18 that would have put him in the playoff. Mickelson's putter eluded him all day as he missed a number of putts inside of 12 feet. His 20 footer on 18 for a share of the playoff missed as well. All four players were in the final two groups making for a topsy- turvy final round and an especially exciting back nine. The FedExCup may have been a foregone conclusion, but this tournament was a gem and a superb way to end the regular season.
Average Golfer finally picked a winner! A win's a win, even if it took until the last hole of the last event. Vijay finished 22nd out of a 30 man field, but finished, period, to lock up the 10 million. Villegas' driving accuracy was 79% in the final round. That went a long way in helping him make up 5 strokes. As a consolation prize, it appears that Sergio won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average at 69.40, just edging Mickelson's 69.42. Tiger Woods didn't complete enough rounds to be eligible.
Now's the hard part. Coming up with compelling article ideas after the end of the regular season. Silly Season here I come!