Golfing Gators

I spent last weekend at the 2010 RBC Canadian Open rooting for a close friend of mine, Camilo Villegas. I'm sure many of you have heard of him or Spiderman as he's often referred to because of his trademark golf ball scoping technique. CV and I became friends several years ago when I attended University of Florida on a gymnastics scholarship and he obviously on a golf scholarship. With similar classes, training schedules and common areas for eating and studying, it's no surprise that everyone within the athletic community at UF became great friends. After graduation I still maintained many of my friendships with some amazing Florida Gators. Despite different lifestyles, long distances and infrequent messages, there are some friendships that will last a lifetime.

This was the third year that I've been able to cheer CV on at the Canadian Open, which is normally held at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville. This year however, the tournament was moved to the St. George’s Golf and Country Club just outside Toronto. Here are some pics of Nikki and I exploring the tournament.

CV got through the round on Saturday before the rain hit hard. I met up with him and Maria in Yorkville later that night for some sushi. We had a blast over dinner just catching up, telling stories, laughing and strolling the streets for ice cream. During the night, Hombre AraƱa (Spiderman in Spanish) was spotted by some canuck fans and asked for pictures and autographs. It was so nice to see him take the time for all those who approached him.

It's evident that he's adored by so many Canadians. He had the largest following of the tournament with people clapping once he reached the greens and then going wild every time he positioned himself into that trademark pose. One eager fan was even waving a huge Colombian flag at the last hole. It's refreshing to know that fame and fortune haven't gotten to his head though. Despite being named as one of the sexiest players on tour and known for his fashion forward golf attire by designer J. Lindeberg (see video below), the spicy Colombian still remains grounded.

Some pics of CV playing in the Canadian Open this year

Amazing following

Me, CV and Maria in Yorkville

While watching the tournament, I did take in some interesting observations. It amazed me at how horribly some of those pro golfers treat their caddy's. I understand it's their job to carry the bag and all, but is it really necessary to throw the bag and clubs down like a diva and then storm off to the next hole with the caddy puttering behind? Again, I don't know much about golf, but that seems so rude to me. Isn't a caddy supposed to give insightful advice and moral support in addition to carrying the bag?

I really liked how CV walked with his caddy, Brett Waldman. BW is such a sweetheart and also made sure to attach the Canadian flag I gave him onto CV's bag for good luck. Maybe being nice and actually having another eye out for your game could be attributed to CV's success on the course. Those rude golfers should take some pointers. I love this pic below of the boys. They look like they are having a blast walking TOGETHER and I really love the Gator club warmer (more commonly referred to as a head cover).

Sunday was a perfect day to watch golf. The sun was out, the Corona's were cold and I surprisingly ran into another fellow Gator, Matt Every. Not knowing he was playing the tournament, I thought I recognized him from a distance. When the official confirmed it was him, he looked over at me, shook his head and laughed before making his putt. He made sure to come over and give me a big hug before making his way to the next hole. He played a great tournament, being in 6th place at one point. We were able to catch up after his last hole. I congratulated him on his PGA Tour entry and his recent wedding. As a consistent and confident player, I know he will go a long way on tour.

I'm so proud of Camilo and Matt, but they aren't the only Gators that golf enthusiasts should be looking out for. Pay close attention to upcoming talents such as Mudd Man (AKA Jessie Mudd), Willy Bear (AKA Will Strickler) and Manny Fresh (AKA Manuel Villegas). These guys have what it takes to get to the top and I can't wait to cheer them on at upcoming Canadian Opens. They are genuinely great men, terrific golfers and pretty easy on the eyes!

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