Villegas leads at Wyndham Champs

Camilo Villegas leads a star studded field after producing a scintillating eight-under-par 63 in the opening round of the Wyndham Championship.

The Columbian is one stroke clear of Americans William McGirt and defending champion Webb Simpson who held the clubhouse lead at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Starting on the 10th Villegas banked a birdie and went on to add four more, and a brilliant eagle three at the par-five fifth, to highlight a flawless opening round.

Meanwhile England’s Paul Casey, Scotland’s Martin Laird and American trio Scott Langley, Heath Slocum and Andrew Loupe were two shots off the pace after signing for 65s.

“It was nice to go without bogeys and I think it probably showed it was a consistent round,” a delighted Villegas said after his round.

“Kept it in the fairway, kept it on the greens and just made the putts when I hit it close. … I just hit the ball nicely.”

Simpson’s strong round helped him stake a claim for a captain’s pick for next month’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

“It’s on my mind a little bit but, you know, … there’s so many things I can’t control with what the captain (Tom Watson) does and how the other guys play,” Simpson told the PGA Tour’s official website.

“I think if I have a good week this week it will show that I really do want to make the team. I want to make a good argument for myself to be a pick.”

The 29-year-old admits the withdrawal of Tiger Woods boosts his chances but he has sympathy with the former world number one over his ongoing back trouble.

“First and foremost I hope he gets healthy,” Simpson said. “We need him out here. … We love when he plays well. It’s good for the game, good for us.
“As for me and my chances to be a pick, it’s greater now. I think he was going to be a pick if he was able to play so I feel like it opens up another spot that wasn’t there before.”