Chat with Michael Collins
Welcome to Sportsnation! On Monday, ESPN.com golf writer Michael Collins brings his unique perspective as a former caddie into the chat.
Collins, who joined ESPN in August 2011, started his career as a stand up comedian and became a caddy by accident. He started looping for fun in 1999, but by 2003 decided to make it a full-time gig. He was the caddy for Chris Couch in 2003 when he won the Nationwide Tour championship.
Collins has never won an award for his writing, but he'll tell you that's probably because he failed high school English and still types with only his index fingers. But he's smart, funny and, most importantly, knows the game and what players and caddies go through on a weekly basis.
Send your questions now and join Collins Monday at 3 p.m. ET!
Michael Collins (3:00 PM)
Oh baby! Another barn burner of a tournament, and here we go again with Tiger getting hurt. This hour's gonna go quick so let's jump right in...
Make me laugh, funny man.
Michael Collins (3:01 PM)
so this limping golfer gets in to a Mercedes... tell me if you've heard this one before...
Do you make jokes because you are sad inside?
Michael Collins (3:01 PM)
I make joke because making people smile, makes me smile. Too many sad people in the world.
Michael Collins (3:04 PM)
Bill Jarvis from (TN), first turn off your caps lock button, there's no need to scream. And second, when people stop tuning in because Tiger's on tv is when the media craze will stop. You may not like the way it is, but that's the way it is.
Brian (Westborough, MA)
No names please, but have you ever seen a professional player cheat in a tournament? Not just break a rule, but cheat?
Michael Collins (3:06 PM)
No. But I've had friends (other caddies) tell me they have. Most of the stories were about marking the ball on the green.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Happened to Tiger Woods at the Doral Open on Sunday did he tear an Achillies?
Michael Collins (3:07 PM)
We don't know yet, his official statement was tightness and swelling. We may never find out the full extent of the injury. He says he's gonna have it looked at this week.
Dan (Kansas City)
Do you expect Gary Woodland to get any victories this year? He had so much promise and has disappointed as of late. I know he's switched swing coaches, but expected a little more so far from the "future look" of golf.
Michael Collins (3:09 PM)
I do expect him to win this year. He didn't just change coaches, he changed his swing. Now hitting a fade. It'll take a bit but he'll win by the end of the year.
Gray Keller (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Which hole do you consider to be the toughest at Innisbrook?
Michael Collins (3:11 PM)
Great question, hardest hole is the 3rd (par 4) on the front and the 13th (par 3) on the back when the course plays firm and fast.
Whats up with Farrell Evans questioning Tiger's decision to exercise caution with the pain he was feeling?
Michael Collins (3:14 PM)
What's up with you questioning a very good reporters instincts? Just kidding.Look, Tiger has a history of saying one thing to the media when the opposite may be true when it comes to health issues. Farrell isn't the only guy questioning.
How badly hurt is Tiger?
Michael Collins (3:15 PM)
We'll know if he plays in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
PGreen (Ponte Vedra Beach)
Is Justin Rose a lock for the Ryder Cup team? or will he be shut out again?
Michael Collins (3:16 PM)
I can't see Justin not being on the Ryder Cup... as an American I wouldn't have a problem with him being left off the team! ;)
am I the only one who thinks bubba looks like andy kaufman? wait is andy kaufman dead?
Michael Collins (3:17 PM)
yes, you're the only one, and yes Andy Kaufman is dead.
Alright seems like a good time to ask this question. Agree or disagree with this statement: Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus has had the greatest career
Michael Collins (3:18 PM)
I think that's a question that can't be asked fairly until Tiger retires.
Random question about WDing and caddie pay. Tiger was on his way to a decent, but not great paycheck, that LaCava was going to get a small part of. But since Tiger WD'd, no money. How does caddie compensation work in situations like those, where a WD close to the finish may cost a caddie a few extra bucks (of course, it's not like LaCava is hurting for money).
Michael Collins (3:21 PM)
Well in this case Tiger will get last place money so Joe will get his weekly salary plus the percentage he and Tiger have agreed upon for that finish. If a player wd's before the cut caddie gets weekly salary only. The risks of being a caddie. Now some players will throw an extra bone or two depending on travel distance but that's not expected by the caddie.
What happened to Bubba on Sunday? TOO much confidence heading into the final round? TOO much pressure? Bad weather? How did he lose that?
Michael Collins (3:23 PM)
Some days you have it, some days you don't. Sunday for Bubba was just one of those times when you can't find your swing til it's too late. Give his caddie Teddy a bunch of props for getting his man back in the game. Sign of good caddying when a player makes a comeback like that.
I see daly is back in the field this week. Have you heard anything on how his elbow is doing?
Michael Collins (3:25 PM)
I have not as of yet but will keep ear on the practice tee for ya and update what I hear on twitter (@ESPNCaddie)
What's wrong with American golf, it's been two hole weeks since an American won on the PGA Tour. How will we ever compete in the RC? :)
Michael Collins (3:26 PM)
Careful, now that the top European players have all made their debut for 2012, that 9-0 start number will quickly start to fade.
Bob (Philly, PA)
Better chance to win a major this year.....Westwood or Donald?
Michael Collins (3:28 PM)
I like Westwood cause the Masters is the first major. And he's gonna be a contender there.
Did you feel like bubba's head got in the way of him winning the tourney, as we all kno he can be a bit of a headcase?
Michael Collins (3:30 PM)
I think that was a part of it, but I think it was more trying too hard instead of just playing. He didn't look like he was having as much fun as the first three rounds until the last 8 holes.
I know we're talking golf but have you picked your NCAA bracket yet? Who are your final four?
Michael Collins (3:31 PM)
You're right, I haven't filled out my bracket yet, and my final four will change about 13 times between now and tomorrow morning.
Tiger Fan (Florida)
Farrell Evans is an idiot! To say Tiger owe's it to ANYONE to complete a tournament with a possible injury when he is not in contention is about the worst analysis I have ever heard. If he is a senior analyst, I hope he graduates high school soon and learns how to be a journalist
Michael Collins (3:35 PM)
being angry and calling people names is no way to go thru life. And when you do it, especially to someone with Farrell's experience... well it ain't Farrell that's the idiot... Everyone is entitled to their opinion, you don't have to like it or agree with it.
Mr. Collins, your opinion on this please - Did Bubba lose this weekend, or did Justin Rose win it?
Michael Collins (3:35 PM)
please call me Michael or Mike, we're friends here.Bubba lost.
After the stellar second half of his season last year, Webb Simpson has quietly become one of the best in the game. I made a bet with my buddies that he will win a major this year. I think Augusta sets up very well for him, and out of the majors this year I think that is his best shot. But he has also showed us that he loves the summer months and plays well towards the end of the year(yes, still very young career and not much else to base off of). So maybe the PGA too? What are your thoughts on Webby?
Michael Collins (3:36 PM)
I'm crazy about him for the Master's but I love his chances at the PGA Championship.
David Toms WD due to a bad back in the middle of the round on Saturday. Now he's hoping to play Transitions. If he does nobody will write that he faked the back injury. Yet if TW plays Bay Hill, I'll bet we get a bunch of stories with that insinuation. If Tiger had a history of WD and then showing up fine the next week, that'd make sense, but absent of that, what am I missing?
Michael Collins (3:39 PM)
what you're missing is the times that Tiger said he was fine on Tuesday and then on Saturday or Sunday said he had an injury. Did you forget the Player's championship the past two years? Telling people you're fine when you're really hurt is just as bad as faking an injury and it's why now people have the right (even though I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE) to question how hurt you are.
Seems like Keegan Bradley fixed some of his quirkiness/spitting/jumping around on the course... do you think he lost his rhythm trying to quiet his crazy pre shot routines?
Michael Collins (3:41 PM)
great observation, and yes I think he may have because before he wasn't thinking about the quirkyness (good word) of his pre shot but now he's conscience of it which will make you even more crazy.
What's with all the course records being broken? Are guys getting better or are the courses being setup easier? both? neither?
Michael Collins (3:42 PM)
Guys are getting better. No question, and that's why course designers are starting to figure out that length doesn't mean tough.
Bob (Philly, PA)
Yes or no. Mark Wilson is the most underrated American golfer on tour today? If no, who would it be? Thanks.
Michael Collins (3:43 PM)
Do the players have an NCAA bracket pool? How about the caddies?
Michael Collins (3:44 PM)
yeah, it's usually in the caddie wagon and a bunch of guys play
Rory seems to have one check on the Tiger Woods Checklist of Dominance: he's starting to backdoor top 10s and top 5s when he doesn't have his A or even B game early. Not outside the top 11 in a very long time now. Thoughts?
Michael Collins (3:46 PM)
That's what scares me watching him play. And he stands in front of the camera and tells you that. I thought Luke might get his #1 back for a minute or two even when Rory won Honda, I'm having second thoughts now. This kid is FOR REAL!
Pete (yes, "that guy") (Austin TX)
When are they going to give you a mic and get you on the course? I miss your commentary!
Michael Collins (3:47 PM)
When/if they hand it to me, I'm gonna make it smoke just like back in the day! ;)
To me when I watch Tiger it seems his enjoyment for the game and to play is gone - during his dominance he would smile more than he has - everything now seems forced and until he gets that joy back I don't see him winning. Would you agree?
Michael Collins (3:49 PM)
Nah, I think the frustration we see comes from being hurt. Imagine being where he's been and not being able to get back there because you're body won't let you. Might get frustrating, ya think?
Who is the best putter on tour to learn from, in your opinion?
Michael Collins (3:50 PM)
Brad Faxon, no question, because he practices not caring. I know, I think I just blew your mind!!
Robert (Raleigh, NC)
What is the current obsession - especially the USGA - with these driveable par 4's? To me it adds very little to the game b/c of poor score seperation. The only one I can think of that's good is 10 at Jack's course from a few weeks ago (can't think of the name) and 16 at TPC Scottsdale.
Michael Collins (3:52 PM)
Riviera is where you're thinking (10th hole) and it's the 17th at TPC Scottsdale. And what makes short holes great is the possible hole in one or double/triple bogey car wreck that can happen. We need more holes like those but they are VERY hard to get right.
do you think tiger will play in the masters this year
Michael Collins (3:54 PM)
I sure hope so, I've been picking him to win it since last year. But he's got to be 0 healthy.
Robert (Raleigh, NC)
What is your stance on the belly putter?
Michael Collins (3:55 PM)
If they help you use em. Shouldn't be illegal. If they were that easy to use, everyone would do it and more guys would be winning with them.
Scott (Greenville, SC)
Can Bill Haas hang around then take it all at the end again?
Michael Collins (3:56 PM)
He'll have a good year, but repeat the FedEx Cup? I'll take as much action as you want, I say no way.
Ryan (Dayton) [via mobile]
How often was rickie fowler hounding you for tips on how to grow a proper moustache? I think he still needs a little help. He is dangling in Adam Morison territory...
Michael Collins (3:57 PM)
there is no Mustache Club for Men, but no one can grow a 'stache as fast as me, that can't be taught!
What do you think of the Blue Monster course as it is now and about Trump's purchase/plans for the Doral Resort?
Michael Collins (4:00 PM)
A lot of people hate that there are so many eagles at the first hole but I like the easy start, gives you a false sense of hope most days, especially when you get to #3 and
Michael Collins (4:01 PM)
Another quick hour goes by!! Thanks again everyone for hanging out.Remember you can always email me at ESPNCaddie@gmail.com.Talk to ya soon!MC