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 (2:59 PM)
Time for fastest hour in golf! What a tournament. To think Rory did it with a 75 thrown in there... ridiculous. But which win do you think was better?And where does Tiger go from here?Let's GOOOOOO!!
wouldnt it be perfect if tiger and rory could battle it out at east lake for the fedex cup
Michael Collins (3:01 PM)
Well we know we might get that battle in the Ryder Cup, which could be Clash of the Titans!! If we don't get that, I'll take East Lake.
Michael, can we compare this stretch for Tiger to his major drought from the '02 US Open to '05 Masters, or is it different this time?
Michael Collins (3:03 PM)
I really think it's different this time, because then we saw a very steady progression, but this time there seems to be a stall in the progression. It's like he's at the the right door but it won't open which is why I think he said on Saturday he tried to change his attitude and it didn't work. He's still looking for something.
Who do you think will overcome their disapointment of the 2012 majors better? Adam Scott or Tiger Woods?
Michael Collins (3:05 PM)
Well Adam Scott said the loss, as bad as it was, gave him the belief that he could win Tiger's weekend performances this year at the majors have been the same, not good. So Tiger is gonna be tougher because it happened 4 times
Mickey (New York)
biggest dissapointment at the PGA in your opinion?
Michael Collins (3:07 PM)
Wasn't on the course, it was the transportation to and from the course for the fans and the media. It made the experience much worse than it should have been. But it's a place with a two lane road in and out. As beautiful as the course is, I hope we never go back.
Do weather delays make a tournament a lot less enjoyable for you?
Michael Collins (3:08 PM)
Only if the tournament goes til Monday. Then it's a nightmare, but if something like Saturday happens, I'm pretty used to rolling with the punches. It's the caddie in me.
zachary (new york)
Whats wrong with Phil Mickelson?
Michael Collins (3:09 PM)
I don't know. He's says his arthritis is fine but everyone I talk to that has it says it completely saps their energy, and that's what Phil looks like somedays on the course. A guy who's been beat up.
James (Utica, NY)
Tiger's main problems continues to be distance control with wedges/short irons and his inconsistencies on the putting green....you agree?
Michael Collins (3:10 PM)
Completely. But his bad miss is still left off the tee, and as long as he fights THAT demon too... no majors
Do you see McIlroy winning more majors than Seve (both of whom won their 2nd at age 23)? Why or why not?
Michael Collins (3:13 PM)
Just because of how much straighter Rory hits it off the tee, I think he'll win more majors. But like all sports it's about staying healthy. If he stays healthy, skies the limit
Lorenzo (Sierra Vista, AZ)
Tiger only goes as his short game goes. Putting gets hot or cold for everyone, but his short game, once a strength, is a glaring weakness. when was the last time we saw Tiger legit fly the green from 99 yards?
Michael Collins (3:15 PM)
I know, his approximation to the hole is better from 175-200 than from 100-125. For a regular tour pro that's a serious problem, for Tiger it's mind boggling
Tiger Woods (Florida)
Would it help if I could make 4 foot birdie putts? Should I work on my wedge game from 150 yards and in? I already excel in that area of my game. I was just too relaxed on Saturday
Michael Collins (3:17 PM)
Too relaxed... that's a new one. Well if you were relaxed then you figured every part of your game was there. But if it's "close" then... it's not there and, well the super focus didn't work and the relax didn't work, where the middle goldie locks?
Were you impressed with John Daly's play this weekend?
Michael Collins (3:20 PM)
Thoroughly. I new he was playing well coming in to the week but the pressure of a major even for Big John, ya never know. So to see him play well, I hope tournament directors sit up and take notice
I know Rory ran away with it but do you think if Petterson hadn't been assessed that two-stroke penalty he may have been able to put more pressure on Rory early in the round??Also, what are your thoughts on the penalty itself??
Michael Collins (3:23 PM)
The penalty itself is a ridiculous one that needs to be changed, at least for the pros. And the fact that when he was told about it a few holes later he made back to back birdies, I don't think if he had the penalty it would've change what Rory was doing.
Do you think they should have moved up tee times or did threesomes off split tees on Saturday, to try to beat the weather? I'm sure TV dictated that they not do that so everything could be live. Comments?
Michael Collins (3:26 PM)
I think they did it right. That storm hit alot later than expected Saturday and what if there wasn't lightning in it, they would have played longer. And split tee threesomes are fine for Sunday late in my opinion gives another guy a chance to be in the final group... more pressure!
Ed (Long Island)
Amazing how only 4 players broke par on Friday, 2 HOFers (Singh, Mickelson), 1 immortal (Woods) and a pretty good player in Poulter. Amazing that not one of the young guns broke par. I guess there is no subsitute for experience - even in golf. I think if Stricker passed Phil in the Ryder Cup standing, that performance alone would have convinced DL III to keep him - overcoming adverse conditions only a plus on the team.
Michael Collins (3:27 PM)
Well the guy who won by 8 shot 75, so don't put too much into the experience thing.
All you Media including SI.com complained about the transportation to and from Kiawah this weekend. The PGA of America and the players all stayed on the Island. Just wondering why the Media didnt stay on the Island? Can ESPN and SI not afford to put you guys up on the Island? I swear I thought I was at a Chuckie Cheese listening to children complain all weekend reading the Golf Media posts
Michael Collins (3:30 PM)
We were persuaded not to. But got bad info on how long the ride would be. Believe me Phil everyone knows what great jobs we have, but do you want a two hour commute to work everyday? What if you didn't have anywhere to eat when you got home? By then end we were all just having fun with it.
Is it coincidence Rory has won both his majors during weeks when the greens were more receptive than expected? Is there something about his game that doesn't set up well for the firmer surfaces?
Michael Collins (3:32 PM)
I don't know why people keep saying that. I didn't see the ball stick on 17, or 14 when guys were coming in with 4 and 5 irons? And do you forget what the course at Honda was like this year? Yes, the US Open was soft but now people are just looking for excuses.
Other than Augusta, I don't see any of the major venues setting up for Tiger in 2013. But take a look at 2014 and 2015! Don't you think those 2 years will determine if he breaks Jack's record?
Last week you said your 4 Ryder Cup picks would be Stricker, Furyk, BVP, and Fowler, any change this week?
Michael Collins (3:34 PM)
Yes, can't put Fowler on the team, will sub in Dustin Johnson
Do you think Tiger can still get to his lifelong goal of 18+ majors? If not, then what do you suggest he do going forth?
Michael Collins (3:35 PM)
Without question he's still going at Jack, and remember he's still ahead of Jack's pace.
happy streamer (pitts,pa.)
mc, what's goin on, back to reallity today huh, any word on l.westwood firing his caddie and coach because he didn't make the cut,so a caddie is another brain on the course that the golfer relies on? is it known in the clubhouse who has the best caddies?
Michael Collins (3:37 PM)
Well the caddie he fired wasn't his full time looper (Billy) who's hurt. Yes a caddie is big part of decision making on the course. And there's no way to say who the best is because every golfer needs something different from a caddie. So a great caddie for one guy might be horrible for another.
Ed (Long Island)
Don't you think that tournament directors have been more than fair with John Daly over the year's, only to be disappointed in his antic? Everyone is for a second chance, he has had a lot more than others - what is wrong at this point in him having to EARN his playing time??
Michael Collins (3:38 PM)
Nothing, but a tournament director's job is to sell tickets, other than Tiger and Phil... guess who STILL sells the most tickets? yep
How many Ryder Cup spots are up for grabs at this point? Gotta think Stricker and Furyk are locks, anyone else in that category? Or are we looking at 5 or 6 guys for 2 spots right now?
Phil PiCKeLSoN (Washington, DC)
Michael What is you're handicap these days and what do you think you would have shot from the pro tees on that wind blown Saturday at the PGA?
Michael Collins (3:40 PM)
I can't see how BVP isn't a lock, so it's really one spot
Michael Collins (3:40 PM)
I would have shot about 125 on Friday in that wind from the tips, and probably would have walked in after nine!!
Will the PGA Fall schedule now only involve players trying to qualify for the Tour?
Michael Collins (3:41 PM)
Next year. That is what will make this year's q-school so big. Last one that will get you on tour.
How can you not want a Major to go back to the Ocean Course? Course was a fair test and the PGA moved the tees up the last 2 days due to the Pros complaining the course was "unplayable" in the wind. The Paspalum greens were fair as well because they held and were true greens with hardly any divots. You and I both know Collins firms greens would have led to scores in the 80s all weekend. You cant grow regular grass on that course with the Salt Water, thought Kiawah did the best job they could. Bethpage 08 transportation way worse than Kiawah
Michael Collins (3:44 PM)
I don't know why people keep saying they moved the tees up on Saturday and Sunday, that's just not true. Sunday every par 3 was 211 or more with one being 248. And you think the fans that had a four hour fight to get home Saturday came back on Sunday? Think they'll go again? Don't be silly
There is a lot of talk about Rory being on a Tiger-like pace for majors, do you think this will get to his head?
Michael Collins (3:46 PM)
Nah, he's got a pretty solid team around him (family, manager, etc.) and he's not the type to let that kind of talk go to his head.
Hilarious to read about how you media didnt enjoy Kiawah, one of the most magnificent pieces of property in the world. All the players enjoyed the course and thought it was a fair test, including the PGA of America. The players even admitted thank god the course didnt play from all the way back, noone would have broken par. I believe the course is better suited for a USGA, wind blows harder in June
Michael Collins (3:49 PM)
What cracks me up is how the people that stayed on the island said, "what's the problem?" and the people that didn't go and don't have a 4 hour commute are saying, "quit complaining." First I'm not complaining, just saying what happened, second if the infrastructure was there to make it easy for all fans and media to get to it would have been awesome.
I think rory can easily average one major a year for the next 20 years. Any thoughts?
Michael Collins (3:51 PM)
That's like saying two years ago, "Peyton Manning will never get hurt!"As good as Rory is, if he stays healthy, 10 majors are a pretty high goal, but with the level of competition today even that is a high number
How much different will Bethpage Black look at the Barclays than from past US Opens? Will the winning score be double digits under par?
Michael Collins (3:53 PM)
I expect much wider fairways and softer greens, still it's the Black Course so -10 will hold the trophy I suppose, unless there's rain and it gets real soft.
are tiger's issues mechanics or mental? which courses in 2013 do you think suits him outside of augusta national for the majors?
Michael Collins (3:56 PM)
Both mental and mechanically there's an issue but they're both fixable. As far as 2013... Merion, Muirfield, and Oak Hill... other than Augusta. I'd say Muirfield.
To follow up on Stefan, do you think it's reasonable to start that talk? Back when Tiger had won two, were people talking about him catching Jack?
Michael Collins (3:57 PM)
Not after number two but after number three happen so soon that's when it started
Which team do you favor in the Ryder Cup?
Michael Collins (3:58 PM)
I gotta root for US! C'Mon man!
Whats with the BVP love affair. Dude is 18th on the money list. He has a bunch of 8th place finishes so what.
Michael Collins (3:59 PM)
But he's a solid all around golfer who is playing consistent good golf, doesn't need a win. How many other guys in the top twenty on the money list (US players) don't have a win that are as consistent?
Michael Collins (4:01 PM)
Wow!! Once again y'all made the hour FLY by!!Same time next week?! Cool. Til then ESPNCaddie@gmail.com or @ESPNCaddie on twitter is how you can always reach me!Thanks all!