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)
History was made today as Augusta admitted it's first female members, AND Sergio won for the first time in 70 starts. Who knew a Monday could be so great?! Ready for the fastest hour in golf?! C'Mon!!
What's the best public course in America?
Michael Collins (3:00 PM)
I haven't played them all... yet.
Over the past few years, Dave Stockton has been the big name putting "guru" for many of the Tour's top players. Does he also work with players that use long/belly putters? Or is there a long/belly putter specialist out there?
Michael Collins (3:03 PM)
Great question, and to be honest I've never seen him or Jr. working with any guys that use a long or belly putter. It's so player specific meaning every player sets up to it differently (look at Ernie compared to Keegan). I also have not heard of a long putting "guru" but I'm sure there's one out there!
Hi Michael- So if you were Captain Olazabal who would you select as your two captains picks for the Ryder Cup? I would think having Sergio Garcia win and make the team on his own helps a lot.
Michael Collins (3:05 PM)
I'd say you definitely want Alvaro Quiros on the team if not just for his length, and then Ian Poulter is such a strong competitor and a great team guy.
It's playoff time Collins! Outside of the Top 5 in the standings, can you name a few guys who you think will be right there at the end of the playoffs? I'm thinking Keegan, Justin Rose, Snedeker and Bill Haas.
Michael Collins (3:08 PM)
Watch out for Scott Piercy, Bud Cauley, Webb Simpson, and Rickie Fowler. All outside the top ten to start the playoffs
Should Barclays owgr pts be included for Euro RC team pts (the walker the same weekend on euro tour has pts ct)? And if you were Ollie how much do you wish Poulter was playing in the johny walker instead of Barclays to potentially knock Kaymer out of auto spot?
Michael Collins (3:12 PM)
I do believe the points should count towards European Tour Ryder Cup Team, that being said if Poults plays well thru the playoffs he'll be a captains pick AND get some serious bonus money ($35 million in the pot). Win, win
Chuck (Cold Spring Harbor, NY)
Keegan Bradley has to be considered a heavy favorite this week given his recent hot play and familiarlity with the course correct? Plus, I'd imagine he will have heavy local/alumni support.
Michael Collins (3:13 PM)
Well you know how much New Yorkers LOVE Bostonians... NOT. I think the man with the biggest crowds will be as usual, Tiger and Phil.
How difficult will Bethpage play? Similar to US Open? Or not even close?
Michael Collins (3:14 PM)
Expect scores to be much lower, with wider fairways and the greens won't get as badly spiked marked as they did in '09.
Hey Michael, It seems like all the clutch players in the playoffs are already near the top of the standings, I mean only one guy got into the top 125 this week who wasn't already there. Do you see anyone sitting lower in the standings who might make a run, or is it for the top 30 or so guys to battle out?
Michael Collins (3:17 PM)
There's always one or two guys that will battle their way thru, Slocum did it before the same way, squeaked in and then won Barlclay's. I like the way Trevor Immelman has been playing, he comes in 114th in the Standings so he needs a good week just to get in Deutsche Bank.
Did SG's victory ensure him a spot on the European RC team?
Michael Collins (3:18 PM)
I gotta believe it did.
If Rory is the "king of golf" why did the media give him a pass for missing 5 cuts this year? Why is the bar so much lower for Rory than Tiger?
Michael Collins (3:21 PM)
Don't know who called Rory the "King of Golf", that'd be an overstatement. And when he missed 4-5 cuts he got raked over the coals by the media blaming his relationship and questioning his dedication. I think he answered his critics. As for Tiger, HE set the bar, not the media, that's why he's judged differently than any other golfers. It's why a 3 win season without a major is substandard for him.
Tiger/McIlory...gonna be great, right?
Michael Collins (3:24 PM)
Tiger/Dufner/McIlroy will be the threesome Thursday and Friday if the Barclays does what's been done in the past. Gonna be fantastic! Then Zach/Bubba/Hunter in another threesome... Oh baby!!
tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]
I asked Wilbon about if we need to start talking about Rory having a chance to meet or beat Jacks majors record...And he FREAKED OUT at the audacity of the question. How could I EVER think that since Rorys only won two. I didn't get a chance to retort, but wasn't everyone anointing Tiger as the one to break Jack's record? Why can't we say the same thing abot Rory? Why is it 'stupid' of people to think a kid, with his head on his shoulders, with a great all-around game and the fact that he has won two majors at 23 may have a chance at the record? Thoughts?
Michael Collins (3:28 PM)
It's not crazy, but now that most people got burned by Tiger, they're realizing just how hard it is to get near that record. The question for Rory will be the same that it was for Tiger when he started winning majors on a yearly basis (Rory still has to do that a couple more times too), can Rory stay healthy for 20 years? That's a BIG thing. Hope that helps a little.
I heard Sergio had a local caddie on the bag at Wyndham. Would this guy get 10% for the win or do you think he paid a flat fee for the week.
Michael Collins (3:30 PM)
Every caddie makes his own deal with the player but if the course provided the local caddie then it's usually a flat fee with a tip. Hopefully, if it is true that the caddie was a local, Sergio took care of him well.
50% of Rory's pga tour wins are majors (so far). The Rory/Jack question is a stretch bc Rory hasn't started winning a ton yet & has shown an inconsistency with his game that Tiger and Jack never have
Michael Collins (3:32 PM)
Of course, as Tiger says, majors are the only thing that matter. So if P percent of all his wins are majors and he wins 50 times... Oh boy... let's not go there!! haha
Why can't Tiger acknowledge he needs to bring in outside help for his short game?
Michael Collins (3:34 PM)
Hardest thing in the world to do is ask for help.
What's the status of Tiger and Bubba's relationship? They used to play a ton of practice rounds together
Michael Collins (3:37 PM)
They're still friends, they don't play as much together, a few reports came out saying Tiger was "disappointed" when Bubba made public comments he didn't like and their friendship was strained. I think they're just different guys that like each other but don't hang out.
Your feelings on the big story today, Augusta admitting 2 women as members.
Michael Collins (3:41 PM)
There is nothing better than being alive when history happens. Especially history that benefits the game of golf. I believe it's been a long time coming. I can't wait to go to Augusta next spring, gonna be really special to see the two new green jackets for the first time. More history. Cool to be there when it happens.
Do you think that Fans really care who wins the Fed Ex Cup and the $10M that go with it? I liked the old way better with all roads leading to the tour championship!
Michael Collins (3:43 PM)
You're not the first to feel that way, and you won't be the last. But as much as the playoffs got roasted before they started, they got embraced as the were in each city.
Keegan fan (nyc)
keegan is a local. He played at St Johns!
Michael Collins (3:44 PM)
Ok... so when he goes to Yankee stadium wearing at BoSox cap it's ok because he went to St. John's. C'MON MAN!
Tiger talks to Notah and Stricks about short game. But I swear everyone thinks how awesome it is when someone wins without a coach, or that Foley is terrible, and then turns around and wants Tiger to get more coaches
Michael Collins (3:46 PM)
Who doesn't love the flavor of irony?!
Keegan will have a much larger following at next week's Deutsche Bank...obviously.
Michael Collins (3:47 PM)
NO NO NO!! He went to St. John's. Hahaha
Do you see John Daly having any more legitimate shots at winning a major tournament? His play seems so inconsistent. Some rounds he looks electric, and other rounds, you could prop up Ernest Borgnine and he would be more productive with the sticks. Hit my lunch bag with your thoughts. Thanks.
Michael Collins (3:51 PM)
A major? I don't see it, but can he find a way to win a tournament on the PGA Tour again. I do believe that. He's finally showing a little bit of consistently since he's getting to play, just seemed by Greensboro he was just out of gas after 7 straight weeks.
Jared (San Diego)
I played Torrey Pines South for the first time last week. They didn't have the black tees out, and I wouldn't have gone anywhere near them if they had. Adds another level of appreciation for how good these guys are when you see how long some of these Major courses can be.
Michael Collins (3:52 PM)
Play it Forward, enjoy the game more.
Patrick (Mega Bus somewhere west of Philly, PA)
Mike, I know your a Philly guy (Lancaster is close enough), and it's never too early to look ahead. Have you ever played Merion, and does Bryn Mawr have the capacity to successfully host the US Open next year?
Michael Collins (3:53 PM)
It's gonna be a tight fit, but I love that we're going to an old school course for the US Open. Never played it but I've heard it's amazing.
Duffner is skipping Barclays
Michael Collins (3:55 PM)
Thanks for catching that! Would make the group: Woods/McIlroy/Zach Johnsonand then give us Bubba/Hunter/Pettersson
Merion lover (nyc)
Played it earlier this year. One of the best hole routings ever. Truly one of a kind course that perfectly uses all of the nature features of the course. They are going to have a much smaller ticket base from what i understand.
who wins the barclays? the fedex cup?
Michael Collins (3:57 PM)
You're gonna have to check my "Expert" Picks for that one. And yes I put expert in quotes because I still laugh whenever someone is called that when it come to golf.
what change would you make to the fedex cup?
Michael Collins (4:00 PM)
Well after this year it won't matter, but I would have liked it to mirror the money list.Next change could be at Tour Champ. Let them play for one check. Winner gets paid, losers get kicked to the curb!
Michael Collins (4:01 PM)
Well again, that went WAY too fast!Same bat time... same bat channel next week?! Good.Play well this week.ESPNCaddie@gmail.com@ESPNCaddie on TwitterMC