Camilo Villegas couldn’t hold back the tears as he opened up about the tragic death of baby daughter Mia last month.
The golf champion’s daughter had cancerous tumours in her brain and spine, passing away at just 22 months of age in July.
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On Thursday the 38-year-old returned to the pro tour for the first time since the tragedy, breaking down while discussing his daughter in an interview ahead of Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour.
“Obviously we wanted her to be here with us but it got to a point where it got pretty crazy and the best thing turned out for her rest,” he said.
“She’s not here with us physically, but she’ll remain in our hearts forever.
“Crazy enough, I can’t change anything that happened in the past but I, my family, my wife, can have a good attitude and reshape what’s happening today and what's going to happen in the future.
“My wife is back home with her mum. We'll slowly start getting back to normal.
“I could see that little human being fighting for her life and it was pretty inspiring. She will continue to inspire us.”
Villegas broke down in tears as he discussed the 22 months he got to spend with little Mia.
“I’m also very thankful about something, to be honest. I haven’t played golf in a long time, due to a shoulder injury, and I had a chance to be with my little one for 22 months,” he said.
“Why did that happen? I have no clue, but if I would’ve played golf during that time, I would’ve enjoyed my daughter maybe half of the time.
“So hey, things happen for a reason.
“We’ll have good energy and a good attitude toward the whole situation, and have fun with what’s coming in our near future.”
Golfers pay touching tribute to baby Mia
Golfers across the PGA TOUR, Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR Champions have been wearing rainbow ribbons during events in tribute to Mia, who loved rainbows.
Villegas will also sport a rainbow ribbon on his cap as he competes.
“It was awesome,” Villegas of the tributes.
“It was tough to be honest, it was hard to watch on TV, but I kept getting the messages from all the players and staff … it lifts you up.”
The four-time PGA Tour winner revealed earlier this year that he and wife Maria had taken their daughter to Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami for scans as they suspected she was not well.
Mia underwent surgery after the tumours were found and the Villegas family were informed more treatment would be required.
Mia started alternative rounds off of chemotherapy, but passed away in July.
“We were told we needed to start treatment right away, so they kept us there,” Villegas said in June.
“Physically, though, she wasn't ready to get the kind of chemo doctors were hoping for.”