Camilo Villegas burst onto the PGA Tour golf scene in 2006 with seven top-25 finishes in 29 events and more than $1.7 million in earnings.
Over the ensuing years, Villegas won four times, most recently at the 2014 Wyndham Championship. The now 40-year-old Colombian has made nearly $21 million in winnings over the course of his career.
Although his talent spoke for itself, Villegas quickly made a name for himself on Tour in another way: his unique green-reading style. Villegas frequently stretched out on all fours to study his putts near grass-level, earning him the nickname “Spider-Man.”
On a recent episode of Subpar, Villegas reflected on his career with hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz, and detailed both the origin of his famous technique, as well as a hilarious downside.
“So, 2005, Korn Ferry Tour, I wasn’t putting great,” Villegas began. “I always liked when the green was kind of elevated and you could get yourself in a bunker and you see the line like so good, or just off the green. And I have like a 10, 15-footer, and I started getting lower and lower and lower. I’m not even thinking about what I’m doing. And I ended up somewhat in that position and I made a 15-footer.
“A couple holes later, I have a putt that’s very, very straight,” he continued. “So I’m like, man, let’s get lower again, let’s check this putt out. And I started getting lower and I ended up in that position. I made the putt again. So people think it was something that I thought about, to do it, and it wasn’t. It just came naturally. I made a few putts. I used it on very, very straight putts. And then, to be honest, when my agent Clark Jones saw, he said, whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.
“It worked for a while.”
Stoltz then asked Villegas about any “oopsies” he endured while employing his unorthodox technique.
“I ripped some pants on Hilton Head,” Villegas said. “Hilton Head, everything’s so close there. We’re staying just 200 yards from the golf course. But it’s ripped. So, my wife’s walking, she goes back to the thing, brings me some pants. I’m like, I roll into somebody’s house. They freaking open, ‘Hey, what happened?’ Boom, all the pants are ripped. Change pants. Just like new. Come on, keep it going.”
For more from Villegas, including the story on an unfortunate mishap on Tiger Woods’ jet, check out the full interview below.