Former Wyndham Championship winner Camilo Villegas will make his broadcast debut this week on Golf Channel’s coverage of the PGA Tour event in Greensboro, North Carolina. Villegas, a 41-year-old four-time Tour winner who ranks 223rd in the FedEx Cup standings, will work in the booth as the main analyst alongside host Steve Sands.
Last year, Sands served as emcee at Villegas’s charity golf tournament, a fundraiser for Mia’s Miracles, when Sands told him he thought he could have a bright future doing golf commentary on TV. Sands wondered, “Would you like to do a week and see how it goes?”
Villegas looked Sands straight in the eyes and told him in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t interested.
“As a competitor, as a golfer, you never want to be done. When you start looking somewhere else and you’re 41 and you haven’t been performing, that was my first reaction,” Villegas explained.
But after giving it some thought, the former University of Florida golfer and Colombia native called Sands back and apologized for his knee-jerk reaction.
“For him to think I could do a good job on TV was actually an honor,” he said.
Asked to explain why he thought Villegas would excel as a broadcaster, Sands said, “He has always been accessible and a terrific communicator.”
Villegas wasn’t quite ready to jump into the booth but after talking with his agent, he determined he didn’t want to close a door on a great opportunity without exploring whether he liked the job or could determine if he was any good at it. He agreed to do a one-week trial this year, and it made sense to do so alongside Sands, who pitched him on the concept, and at a tournament where he has not only competed regularly but has tasted great success.
“This is the perfect event for Camilo to provide his expertise to Golf Channel’s viewers,” Sands said.
Villegas has struggled with injuries since winning the 2014 Wyndham Championship with bookend rounds of 63, and then dealt with the death of his 2-year-old daughter, Mia, in 2020. This season, he made just nine starts on the PGA Tour and hasn’t recorded a top-10 finish since the 2021 Honda Classic. But Villegas says he’s not hanging up his spikes just yet. He began working with instructor Jose Campra, who also caddies for Sebastian Munoz, on a major swing overhaul and Villegas says he’s seeing signs that he is making progress.
As for prepping for his TV try-out, Villegas shadowed Sands and analyst John Cook when they were in the booth during the first round of the RBC Canadian Open in June. He said he’s been watching more television than he’s used to and conceded he’s a little nervous about his TV debut.
“I just want to be myself,” he said.
Asked if that would include being comfortable enough to criticize players that he still competes against regularly, Villegas said, “I guess we will find out soon. I’m going to call it like I see it. I’m a very analytical guy. I have a very structured approach to the game of golf. I want to share with the viewer a little of what I’d be feeling, thinking while someone is hitting a shot…I don’t have a problem disagreeing with players’ decision or approaches or strategy.”
Villegas doesn’t have any TV plans beyond the Wyndham Championship but he sounded open to the possibility of doing more TV work in the future.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I need to find out if I like it,” he said. “I’m going to continue to play golf. If I really like it and they think I have potential, could there be weeks where I hop into the booth and fill in? We’ll see. I don’t know. Too many moving parts to know where this thing will go.”