Chat with Michael Collins
Welcome to Sportsnation! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!
Michael Collins (2:59 PM)
Chat time!! Well y'all can blame Mother Nature for me not having a chat Monday but I'm here now! Bring it!!
Will the weather calamity impact the ability of the TOC to draw a field going forward? Correct me if i'm wrong but if you qualify for this tournament and you don't play in it you still receive last place "unofficial" money?
Michael Collins (3:01 PM)
No, you only get money if you show up and WD but if you don't show up you get nothing.Don't know what the tourney can do to get stronger field.
Over/under 1.5 majors for Dustin Johnson for his career?
Michael Collins (3:03 PM)
Over, he'll win at least two
when you were caddying, did you ever carry for 36(or more) holes in one day? Are there "worse" courses to do that, than at Kapalua?
Michael Collins (3:06 PM)
Kapalua is the worst walk on tour for a caddy and that's with two cars rides and a bunch cart rides also.I've caddied my fair share of 36 holes in a day. The US Open and Open Championship qualifiers are 36 hole days and it's usually 137 degrees.
31 players in the top 50 of the OWGR have played in 52 events over the past 2 years. 0 have played in 53, any guess as to why not even 1 player in the top 50 played in 53 events?
Michael Collins (3:07 PM)
That's averaging 26 events a year... you'd be burnt out by year three, that's why
Billy Bob Brown (Merion, PA)
How hard or easy is it to get a bag on tour? I'm the # 1 looper at Merion. I think I can do it.
Michael Collins (3:09 PM)
Getting a bag on the PGA Tour is all but impossible for an unknown caddie no matter what course you come from. Your best bet this year is to hope Ryo Ishikawa qualifies for the tournament, last year he used local caddies a bunch.
Are players offended by Johnny Miller because he is actually honest about their faults? I love when he is the announcer and I am able to get insight into a player's mind...
Michael Collins (3:10 PM)
How can anyone say what's going on in someone else's mind? That's one of the things that can get you in trouble especially if the last tournament you won was before beepers came out.
@Brian owgr has a max div of 52 over a 2 yr period, after that they start dropping earliest events. Multiple top 50 guys have played more than 52. Starting with Loius O (59)
Michael Collins (3:11 PM)
And everyone welcome my back up Shoshana! You're like my Robin if I'm Batman. haha
What I don't understand is that on Friday and Saturday there were actually people saying in effect "They're pros. Tell them to man up and get out there." Um, have you ever actually tried playing on a day like that? The only time I've ever walked off a course was because the wind was blowing the ball off the greens. It's not fun to play, it would be less fun to watch, and could be potentially dangerous to be out there.
Michael Collins (3:13 PM)
Funny you say that I just had a conversation yesterday with two people who BOTH said they loved watching the guys play in those conditions. I had to explain to them, if someone said they like watching you have a horrific unfair day at work how would that make you feel. They didn't get it.
Ed (Long Island)
With Phil being a west coast guy, why doesn't he play that first tournament? Guaranteed money - looks like easy OWGR points by the way some of the guys jumped after just one week.
Michael Collins (3:15 PM)
Because playing in wind like that can mess up your swing for a long time. Which is a legitimate argument but I'd still like to see the big names every now and then.
Side bet for ANYTHING Dustin Johnson wins ZERO majors the next 5 years....
Michael Collins (3:15 PM)
What kind of car you drive? Just kidding!
Why do LPGA players use their caddies more (line up on tee box, line up putts) than PGA players or does it just seem that way?
Michael Collins (3:16 PM)
Don't know why, but it is true they do it much more than PGA Tour pros.
If you could pick any 4 active golfers to form a team, who would they be?
Michael Collins (3:18 PM)
Rory, Tiger, Luke, Snedeker
pat (seal beach)
would the PGA tour ever consider having a tournament (perhaps for charity) where the Tour players have to use clubs and balls that Nicholas and Palmer used? A turn back the clock tournament?
Michael Collins (3:21 PM)
72 holes? No, but last year in New Orleans the week of the Zurich Classic a few guys dressed up like old days and played with hickory shafts and gutta percha golf balls. No one shot under par for 6 holes. they said they had to swing MUCH slower than normal
Tom Ace (Florida)
Is Tim Clark back? Will he compete this weekend?
Michael Collins (3:23 PM)
He is! Tees off tomorrow at 12:30 off #10
Have you ever had to caddy in conditions like they had last weekend? Either lots of wind or horrible rain where you just had to tell your guy "screw it", it is what it is let's at least try to have a little fun with it?
Michael Collins (3:25 PM)
One year when they still had a tournament at TPC Sugarloaf we played in a 25mph sleet. Literally held the umbrella sideways and the steel shafts iced up if my boy kept them out too long. I can laugh now about it. At the time my language would have made a sailor blush.
Best chance to win a major this year...Nick Watney, Dustin Johnson, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood or Steve Stricker
Michael Collins (3:26 PM)
Lee Westwood then Watney, Johnson, Donald, Stricker in that order
Seems like Long John Daly had some flashes last year, but couldn't sustain it due to inconsistent golf and injuries. What's your take on him?
Michael Collins (3:27 PM)
If he ever gets some confidence in his putter he'll be back on tour full time. But right now he can still hit it really well.
Does Steve Stricker actually stick to his semi-retirement if he's on the cusp of the Pres Cup team?
Michael Collins (3:29 PM)
Absolutely. That's one guy who has perspective on life, family, and work we should all hope to have.
How much better is the equipment that the touring pros use that we buy off the shelf?
Michael Collins (3:31 PM)
ALOT! Not too many places you walk into a golf shop, they put you on a monitor work out your specs and you're on the driving range in 20 minutes hitting clubs perfect for you. Plus, they have shafts you'll NEVER see in stores.
Patrick (Philadelphia, PA)
Have you ever been a part of anything remotely similar to that before?
Michael Collins (3:32 PM)
Once, years ago in an event in TX. But we didn't stop and wipe out the scores.
Who do you see as being the biggest surprise on tour this year? And who has a better 2013: Sneds or Keegan?
Michael Collins (3:34 PM)
Keegan has a better year. The big surprise will come from a q-school grad, one of the under 30 year olds.
DJ going to make it 2 in a row this week?
Michael Collins (3:35 PM)
Nope. This course is too short for him. 7044 yard par 70 only 4 holes over 460 (par fours)
IMO the Sony Open is the worst event to watch on TV. So many holes seem to have the same layout. If you watch the masters you don't even need the TV to let you know what hole the player is on, you know. At the Sony this is impossible.What do you think is the best tournament to watch on TV and the worst?
Michael Collins (3:37 PM)
Best on tv is match play cause you can't be all over the course when you're there. Worst... hmm that's tough. I will say the course they play on this week isn't on anyone's bucket list. Not a very exciting layout.
True or False: If Tiger wins 0 majors this year, he will not catch Jack.
Michael Collins (3:37 PM)
Most of us aren't in the entertainment business which is what sports ultimately are. Horrific days in sports can be entertaining, for a while anyway.
Michael Collins (3:38 PM)
Watching guys struggle with decision making and shotmaking yes. Watching guys play in conditions I wouldn't play in, no.
When Tiger is eligible for the HOF, will he get 100% of the vote? And it not, I believe that whoever doesn't vote for him should lose their voting rights.
Michael Collins (3:39 PM)
Patrick (Philadelphia, PA)
Which major are you looking forward to most this year?
Michael Collins (3:39 PM)
US Open at Merion, Masters, The Open, PGA in that order for me this year.
Any chance the PGA changes the rule to allow GPS/Laser devices to speed up play in our lifetime?
Michael Collins (3:41 PM)
Slim. If it happens there would have to be ONE laser for every player so there could be no tampering with them (using the slope) and the tour wouldn't want to get into that with any one company
Keith H (Seattle)
Good afternoon, Michael. Re: Steve Stricker. I like the idea of him taking semi-retirement. From as far down as he has to be Comeback Player of the Year twice in a row, if he's that wealthy now and wants to spend more time with the family, good for him.
LOL! Seriously though, will Nick Watney ever reach his full potential? He seems like he has the talent to win ALOT of majors.
Michael Collins (3:43 PM)
He does have a ton of talent, he needs to get back in contention again like he was at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits a few years back, see how he'll react this time
What will Tigers first event on the actual PGA tour be this year?
Is Tiger going to play at Torrey Pines since it doesnt conflict with the Ahubu Dahbi Tournament?
Michael Collins (3:45 PM)
It'll either be Torrey Pines or Pebble Beach
Does anyone on tour not have the talent to win majors (just look at some past champs)? That doesn't mean they all will. Lots of good, talented players are majorless
Michael Collins (3:46 PM)
James(please answer me) (Springfield)
Have you heard if Tiger is going to play the week after Abu Dhabi at Torrey Pines?
Michael Collins (3:47 PM)
Will the USGA ever consider Pine Valley if Merion goes well? I am assuming it is not suited to host an event but it is always rated #1 or #2 in the world and we would all love to see it!
Michael Collins (3:48 PM)
Don't think the club wants it and if they did, infrastructure would make it almost impossible. Parking, corporate tents, media center, tv compound... all need space. Not as easy as just saying, "hey guys come on over here!"
Andy (Los Angeles)
Hey Michael, any news on Anthony Kim? Does he still have a tour card?
Michael Collins (3:49 PM)
Yes, he'll be in the major medical category
james (quail hollow)
Whos your top 5 this week?
Michael Collins (3:50 PM)
USGA has a rule against going to clubs with discriminatory membership practices (unlike R&A) so Pine Valley isn't eligible for a US Open
In your opinion does it harm the image of the game that the places that we hold up as the "best" are often the most restrictive? i.e. no women at Pine Valley
Michael Collins (3:52 PM)
yes. what would happen if the best course in the world wasn't available to guys?
If Stricker only plays 10 times a year, how is he going to stay exempt for the majors in 2014 (or any event bigger than a regular tour stop)? Or is that part of the plan?
Michael Collins (3:54 PM)
His win at John Deere has him good to go til 2014, then he can take his top 25 all time money exemption, then his top 50 exemption... trust me, he'll be fine to play for the next few years.
Ed (Long Island)
There was a lot of talk about playing in that wind at the TOC has the potential to mess up a swing - how come you never hear about anyone saying their swing is messed up after the British Open?
Michael Collins (3:55 PM)
Because when a guy's swing is messed up he normally isn't getting interview by the media. He's missing cuts and leaving early.
Stricker is actually exempt on tour until he turns 50 (the wins keep adding on years) even without money list exemptions, but he's not exempt into any of the majors or wgc's beyond this year.
Better chance to win a major in 2013, Tiger or Phil?
Michael Collins (3:56 PM)
Tiger... US Open
So is Daly's problem with the flat stick mental or mechanical? Seems like Stockton or someone would be able to help him with that. Guess John would need to reach out to them though.
Michael Collins (3:57 PM)
a little bit of both. Well 65% mental, 35% physical
Thoughts on the DD/Humana dust-up? And before everyone goes and writes their Tiger owes it to Riviera to tee up, remember that was a bunch of sponsors ago (and he played it a lot - think they got a decent return on investment)
Michael Collins (3:59 PM)
Not giving Duval a sponsons invite?! I lost a bunch of respect for that tournament after they let George Lopez go as host, this is just another example of people running a tournament that don't know golf.
Michael Collins (4:01 PM)
Dang!!! That went too fast! Well guess what?! I'll do it again THIS Friday at 3pm EST.Talk to you soon!MC@ESPNCaddie on twitterESPNCaddie@gmail.com is my email.