Camilo Villegas April 2010 Keith Allison

Colombian golf star Camilo Villegas finished a solid eighth at the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tennessee, just days ahead of this year’s US Open at Pebble Beach, while England’s Oliver Wilson is also relishing his chance to compete.

Twenty-eight-year-old Villegas (pictured, above) has never missed the cut in four previous visits to the St. Jude, and this year was no exception, with his joint-eighth finish at six-under-par, four shots behind winner Lee Westwood, outdoing his previous best result of tied-for-16th in 2006. He also climbs from 10th to seventh in the PGA Tour FedExCup rankings as a result.

It’s looking like a busy summer for Villegas, who has also confirmed that he’ll be playing in the prestigious Scottish Open tournament next month at Loch Lomond.

“I really enjoyed my first visit to the Barclays Scottish Open last year – it was a great week on a fantastic golf course,” said Villegas. “So I’m delighted to be returning this year, and I would love to add my name to the impressive list of past champions.” 

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But first the three-time PGA Tour title-winner has the action at Pebble Beach to occupy him. Camilo finished tied-for-33rd in the US Open last year, though in 2008 he finished an impressive joint-ninth – and his current ranking of 15th in the world means he is among the elite band of golfers with an exemption, meaning he hasn’t had to pre-qualify for the tournament.

One man who has safely qualified is England’s Oliver Wilson (pictured, inset), who’s also looking forward to a new challenge in the USA.

“I head out on Sunday to Pebble Beach, which I'm really looking forward to as I've never been there before,” the 29-year-old said on his website oliver-wilson.com last week. “I'll head out to the course and do lots of putting and short-game work to get into the feel of the greens and the course, which is the key thing around the US Open.”

At 7.33 a.m. local time in California this Thursday, Villegas will be teeing off with American Zach Johnson and England’s Luke Donald, hoping that he can give the likes of former champions Tiger Woods and Ernie Els a run for their money, as will Wilson when he starts his first round alongside American Heath Slocum and Australian John Senden at 2.09 p.m. precisely.


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