Camilo Villegas opened with a 64 at TPC San Antonio and will take a two-shot lead into Friday’s second round of the Valero Texas Open.
The 39-year old Columbian, who was paired with Lucas Glover (73) and Brandon Hagy (67), finished his first day at the Oaks Course with a field-best nine birdies, highlighted by a run of six gains in a seven-hole stretch, to secure the 18-hole marquee position.
“Yeah, you know what, some days the hole is a little bit big and that was the case today,” said Villegas, who led the field with 3.211 strokes gained: around the green.
“I played really good, but I also got a couple nice breaks. Made a couple good par saves and overall it was very solid.
“Obviously you don’t shoot 8 under not playing good. No, I’m excited. I like this place. But it’s only Thursday, so we’ve just got to keep patient, keep doing what we’re doing and have fun out there.
Sung Kang and Cameron Tringale were T2 on 6-under par, one clear of a trio, which included Seung-Yul Noh, Hideki Matsuyama, and home favorite Jordan Spieth.
Despite some struggles off the tee, Spieth finished with seven birdies against two bogeys, good for a 5-under 67. It marked the seventh consecutive start for Spieth where he’s finished with a score under-par.
“Overall with the score, I certainly would have signed up for 5 under starting out. Felt like I played some really nice golf on our front nine, the back nine. Then just kind of got a little loose off the tee on the front nine, our second nine, and was able to kind of make due. I hit some decent drives, ended up in iffy spots,” said Spieth, who hit just six of 14 fairways.
“Overall, just chipped and putted really well, which was the difference maker today. I didn’t quite hit it as good as I have been, but certainly the short game came through.
“Just kind of put a little more emphasis on that this week, so kind of a little balancing act right now trying to get enough work in on all facets of the game.”
Another Texas Longhorn was one further back, as Scottie Scheffler posted a 4 under 68 to join Tom Hoge and Sebastian Munoz in the T7 spot.
Through 16 holes, Phil Mickelson was 1 over par and in the mix to make the cut, but a bogey on No. 17 followed by a 5-over 10 on the par-5 18th, resulted in a 7-over 79.
The 2021 Valero Texas Open
Leaderboard: Top 10
Pos-Player-To Par (Score)
1. Camilo Villegas -8 (64)
2. Sung Kang -6 (66)
2. Cameron Tringale -6 (66)
4. Jordan Spieth -5 (67)
4. Hideki Matsuyama -5 (67)
4. Seung-yul Noh -5 (67)
7. Scottie Scheffler -4 (68)
7. Sebastian Munoz -4 (68)
7. Tom Hoge -4 (68)
10. Matt Wallace -3 (69)
10. Kevin Stadler -3 (69)
10. Vinnie Whaley -3 (69)
64 – Camilo Villegas
86 – Patrick Grimes
9 – Camilo Villegas
0 – Seven players
0 – Kyle Stanley, Denny McCarthy
9 – Sam Bennett
324 – Brandon Hagy
261 – Nick Taylor
12/14 – Chase Seiffert
01/14 – Tony Finau
15/18 – Sebastian Munoz
05/18 – Rob Oppenheim