North Carolina natives Webb Simpson and William McGirt shot 64, and Scott Langley, Heath Slocum, Paul Casey, Andrew Loupe and Martin Laird were another stroke back in the final event before the PGA Tour's playoffs.
"I just thought it was appropriate to hop on a plane and see mom and dad and recharge a little bit," Villegas said.
The 35 year old McGirt who grew up near the North Carolina South Carolina line in Fairmont closed with five birdies on the back nine to make up for two early bogeys. He wrapped up by sinking a 25 foot birdie putt on the 18th.
McGirt also played well after spending some time away from the game.
"I mean, I love to play golf," McGirt quipped. "But not that much."
After pulling out of the Canadian Open after one round last month, he spent the past week back in his native Colombia for "a little recharge" leaving his clubs behind in Florida.
And first round leads haven't exactly been kind to Villegas lately, either. He held two of them last year, but missed the cut at the Honda Classic and finished 71st at the John Deere.
Laird needs a strong week here to climb into the playoffs beginning next week in New Jersey. He arrived at No. 136 Air Max 90 Dark Grey
"Since then, I've always liked this golf course," Laird said. "It's just a position course. Get in the fairway and kind of pick and choose your spots where you can go at flags. That's the kind of golf I like.".
Camilo Villegas got away from golf for a little while, and got his game back.
But early leads have been something of a curse at Sedgefield. Since the tournament returned to the course in 2008, the only first round leader to win was Arjun Atwal in 2010.
He claimed sole possession of the lead two holes later with a birdie, sinking Air Max 90 Eminem a 15 foot putt on the par 3 seventh.
day along with fellow Wyndham winners Brandt Snedeker (2007) and Patrick Reed (2013), Simpson birdied his first four holes.
"I've also played great rounds and played some good ones after that," Villegas said. "It's a matter of just coming out here and playing good golf tomorrow. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson. His three captain's picks are due next month.
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A recharged Villegas shot a 7 under 63 on Thursday to take a one stroke lead after the first round at the Wyndham Championship.
It helped him make a late charge up the Sedgefield Country Club leaderboard.
"Normally, the ball will kind of pop right over, but it got it pretty good and went right," Simpson said. "Late in the day, it happens to everybody."
Starting on the back nine, he had three early birdies before getting even hotter late: He followed his birdie on the fourth with an eagle on the par 5 fifth, placing his second shot about 3 feet from the stick.
He was briefly at 7 under before he wound up with a bogey on the 17th when his 3 foot par putt hit a spike mark.
Villegas hasn't won since 2010 and has only two top 10 finishes in the last three years.
He also made a visit to his coach in Charleston, South Carolina, but otherwise kept his clubs in their travel case. He said he typically doesn't play at all when he's home.
"It's on my mind a little bit, but there are so many things I can't control with what the captain does and how other guys play," Simpson said. "I think if I have a good week this week not just today but this week it'll show that I really want to make the team. Open at the Olympic Club. The Raleigh native played college golf at nearby Wake Forest and lives in Charlotte.
It's a familiar position for him: As a rookie in 2008, he came to the Wyndham outside the playoff picture before his fourth place tie pushed him into The Barclays.
Simpson finished 15th on the Ryder Cup points list.
on the points list and the top 125 qualify for The Barclays.
Crowded leaderboard at Wyndham
After his tie for 25th at the Canadian Open, the fourth year pro took a break to paint his garage and as the father of a 17 month old son joked that there were a "lot of dirty diapers I got to change."
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