Chat with Michael Collins
Welcome to Sportsnation! On Saturday, ESPN.com golf writer Michael Collins stops by to chat about The Masters and Tiger Woods' two-stroke penalty.
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 Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET!
Michael Collins (10:33 AM)
All I can say is, WOW
Michael Collins (10:34 AM)
I gotta know how y'all feel. Should Tiger play or DQ himself?
Michael Collins (10:37 AM)
I am racking my brain to try and figure out how the "Hi Def" rule applies in this case and I can't figure it out
Casey (Johnstown, PA)
Hard for him to WD now, isn't it? Wouldn't he be "showing up" the committee?
Michael Collins (10:38 AM)
He'd be doing what's right
This after-the-fact penalty calling is a bit ridiculous. What's the point of having officials there on the day?
Michael Collins (10:38 AM)
Tiger never called for an official, that's his own fault
No way Tiger could read the rule and say that he didn't break it. Aren't you supposed to call penalties on yourself?
RickyJ. (Va Beach)
He shouldn't have to DQ himself, he should already be DQ. Tiger came into a press conference to say he intentionally dropped the ball, he admitted to doing that in his post-round press conference. Absolutely [he should be disqualified].
Eric Brennan (Greenwood, IN)
See Blayne Barber example. Tiger should follow suit for the love and respect of the game. Although unknowingly he proceeded with the drop, ignorance to the rule isnt an excuse to break them.
saynea (in bed on a Saturday morning)
No, Tiger should not dq himself. It would only serve to placate his haters.
Michael Collins (10:40 AM)
and the rule he broke?
What does Tiger do now?
Michael Collins (10:41 AM)
The bigger question is HOW can he play and look his fellow golfers in the eyes?
He should play! This is Augusta's tournament, why should their ruling be doubted? The new rule that is being implemented is meant to protect players from themselves, and that's exactly what it's doing!
dfhoule (san antonio)
I believe Tiger intended to apply a rule properly when he took his drop no closer to the hole and in line with his last shot. His actions were reviewed twice and as Freddie said, the new rule that protects a player for a mistake and not DQ is good for golf.
Larry Rinker (Winter Park, FL)
Why should Tiger WD? He's certainly not the first player to get a favorable ruling at the Masters. Remember the Seve drop?
Looks like it all got cleared before he finished? They only had to review it again after the ESPN interview? Is that right?
Breadchick (19th Hole)
Hate to say it but agree with Sir Nick Faldo, he should DQ himself. Otherwise going to be cloud over this if he wins it. Would hate for him to get to 18 majors and have this be one.
I've gone back and forth about 4 times so far this morning...original thought was YES he should be DQ'd for breaking rule 26. with knowledge of new USGA rule 33-7 though...I'm not sure!
I think the August National PR team should DQ itself.
Conda71 (Nova Scotia Canada)
What a joke. If Earl was alive we know Tiger would do.
How can the WGR number 1 claim ignorance? He has to WD.
saynea (in bed on a Saturday morning)
Faldo and Chamblee's behavior is shameful. They've had personal grudges against Tiger for a long time. IMO if you can't put aside personal biases then you don't belong on tv.
Michael Collins (10:43 AM)
It was not cleared after he finished.
He should play.. He has been penalized lets get over it.. If this was anybody else the issue would have ended with the statement of a 2 stroke penalty
Michael Collins (10:44 AM)
I believe if it was anyone else they'd have been DQ'd
W Sparks (Birmingham, AL)
If he wasn't aware of what he was doing when he dropped his ball, then he shouldn't be DQ-ed. If he KNEW that he was dropping his ball in a different spot, then he cheated, and should be DQ-ed.
Michael Collins (10:45 AM)
Ignorance of the rules is not a valid excuse and he said in his interview he was attempting to drop two yards further back. No more damning evidence than that
all i know is he'd get a lot of respect for taking himself out at this point...don't see it happening though
Tiger dropped in a bad place, and then signed an incorrect scorecard. How can the officials be blamed? He needs to do the right thing - WD.
#1 playa should know the rules. Time to step up Tiger and bea man.
Ian (New York)
Cloud?.. He has to DQ himself? Is that what rules officials are for? Shouldn't the correct penalty have been assessed yesterday when they realized he broke a rule? Maybe the PGA needs better on course rules official ..
Michael Collins (10:46 AM)
It's not a PGA Tour event. PGA has nothing to do with it
Well, the new "Tuck Rule" helped the Pats against the Raiders!! :-) Eventually, the NFL saw the error of its ways and eliminated the rule. In time, the PGA will do the same. Play on, Tiger!!
Dorothy (New Rochelle, NY)
He should have been DQ'ed. He now should DQ himself. ALL golfers should know how to take a drop. There's no mystery in that rule.
So you agree with the group that believes he should take himself out of the tourney? Could you speculate on what would happen in he stays and becomes eventual winner?
Michael Collins (10:50 AM)
A black eye in the sport. We bill this sport as above others because of the integrity of the game and how people call penalties on themselves. Now the most recognizable person the sport has ever had breaks a rule and allows a committee let him play. Where's the integrity in that?
The rule was put in place so that golfers didn't get DQed, and everyone still wants him to withdraw?The fact is he took a shot farther away from where he previously hit it. He got an additional two shot penalty. That should be enough, and if he wins, I think it helps his legacy instead of hurts it. He would have overcome a 2 shot penalty despite all of the drama and naysayers.
Michael Collins (10:51 AM)
the rule was put in place so if grass was touched or a leaf moved, or if the ball moved... this is just being used as an excuse. It just feels really wrong
Is his tee time being adjusted?
Michael Collins (10:51 AM)
Michael Collins is as biased as Faldo..get a real reporter on this ESPN
Michael Collins (10:51 AM)
you really think i like saying these things about my friend?
Now he cant win, otherwise there will be speculation if this title is worthy or not.
bottom line in this day in age the dq rule is so outdated, that is the problem they need to change that rule. I hope tiger plays and wins.
Official should've called Tiger's attention during the round, just as in Abu Dhabi, that way he would've assessed the penalty during the round and therefore would've not signed an incorrect scorecard, the official following the match didn't do his job, and that IS his job
I totally disagree with the decision to penalize Tiger Woods for a 2 stroke penalty some 16 hours after he was finished golfing... this super-media world , high resolution cameras, viewed by hundreds of millions of golf golf fans. The judges in the club-house ought to play by the SAME RULES as the golfers. Any questionable "plays" should be addressed upon the turning in of the scorecard. I would even go as far as if a "foul" is noticed by a fellow golfer...it be stated then by the golfer, not by a TV (TIVO) viewer who noticed the ball gyrating in super slow motion. You are going to make a mockery of the game.
Other Scott (Canada)
I honestly think the incorrect scoreboard DQ should only be in place for dishonesty, not for slow rulings.
No one will be talking about this in 2 years, we will be talking of how tiger is even closer to jack's record
Michael Collins (10:54 AM)
Not if he wins
Why would he take himself out? He unknowingly broke a pretty pretentious rule and was penalized for it
PJ (Los Angeles)
First they penalize the kid for slow play (which hasn't happened in 18 years) then they give Tiger a questionable two stroke penalty on what was already a hard luck hole - boy, golf sure knows how to kill its best stories - no wonder it's losing fans -
you don't think tiger will be even more fired up? I'm thinking a mid to low 60s round today... yes, I'm thinking history today
Ryan Johnson (PGA West)
The rules of golf need to be changed and simplified so pros and amatuers can understand them simply. What other sport accepts phone calls on rules violations from a guy with a pot belly sitting on his coach watching the coverage who calls in after 13-14 beers!
Garret (Belleville, Illinois)
Am i mistaken or did the committee not give him a 2 shot penalty??? They didn't DQ him so why in the hell should he withdraw?!?!?! The committee obviously felt ACCORDING TO THE RULES that a DQ wasn't neccissary. All this he should DQ himself stuff is ridiculous
We should make a player DQ because he made a mistake? No intent to cheat, just a mistake that was also made by a usga rules official? That is an absurd position and totally wrong. I want Tiger to play...he has earned the right to finish this tournament.
Michael Collins (10:57 AM)
If it wasn't Tiger, would you feel the same way? I ask everyone to remove the name Tiger Woods from the scenario and see if you feel the same way.
Mitch (NEW HAMPSHIRE)
He got penalized the two shots. Move on people!! And I'm sick of this TV Viewer BS calling in! How do people get that number. Wish the NFL had a number like that! Dam pass interference all over the place!
Lefty (West coast )
So youre saying he had a chance of -1 on that hole after a good shot and after all the bad breaks and penalties he took a +3? and everybody is still mad about it? Man this sweet rules interpretation argument is gonna get so many ppl excited about golf! Sign me up!
WWJD!? What Would Jones (Bobby) Do???Shame on Tiger and shame on Augusta. I will not watch the rest of this Tournament, and might never watch golf on TV again. Not sure how a true lover of golf can ever view Tiger the same again.
Katelyn (Syracuse, NY)
If the officials caught the bad drop when they should have (when it happened) he would not have signed an incorrect scorecard and would have just received the penalty. The officials didn't do their job so why should he be DQ'd? He takes the penalty for the shot as he would have if the officials caught it. Let's move on.
Assuming he was penalized here mostly as a result of him unknowingly admitting to a rules violation in a post-round interview/presser.. Aren't you as a member of the media a bit concerned that crucifying him for it now could lead to him (and other golfers) being less candid when discussing shots with the media?
Michael Collins (11:00 AM)
not at all
I think Mr. Collins is showing great integrity. It is a tough call but correct that Tiger should resign.
He literally dropped the ball within 1-2 yards of where it was suppose to be dropped. I completely agree with the commitee in allowing him to play. The new rule keeps him in compliance. And Faldo should keep his mouth shut
Michael Collins (11:01 AM)
Even after he said he was dropping two yards back to get a better yardage? He told you he wasn't dropping at the nearest point but your ok with that?
I agree with Tyler (NH). The man broke the rules and was penalized. The rules were not changed two years ago only so Tiger Woods could win the Masters in 2013. The fact is that he received a two stroke penalty for breaking a rule and now he is simply following the rules. Maybe the 14 year old kid should withdraw too because he knew the rule and he broke it. It is ridiculous to say he should withdraw
I agree Michael, take Tiger's name out of it. Lets say this was Palmer making a miracle run.... or even what Couples is doing... lets say it was one of those guys.. I believe you, and most of America would say to play and would not only say play but be complaining about the two stroke penalty.
Respectfully, you need to get over it. There is a specific rule (that the PGA created!) that protects players from unknowingly breaking rules. You think he should know the rules anyway? Sorry, too bad. Just go back to sitting on your butt and criticizing and let Tiger get back to playing golf.
Rory Moriarty (Cape Copal, Fl.)
you don't think Tiger had rule 26-1 confused?
Michael Collins (11:04 AM)
Yes, he thought he could go back as far as he wanted, the problem was it was on the wrong line, wasn't where the ball "last crossed the hazard line"
Matt (Grand Forks)
Any issues people have should be taken up with the rules committee and those who reviewed the drop. They made their decision, assessed the penalty, and now it's time to move on. Talk of Tiger WD'ing is nonsense. He has been penalized according to the rules of golf.
michael collins should be fired. what an idiot. golf is corrupt. every one lay off of tiger woods, the guy cant get a break. what a horrible ruling and i hope tiger never plays augusta again.
MC, as a caddy....should LaCava had stepped in before the drop to warn Tiger? He should've sensed the unusual nature of the drop.
Michael Collins (11:05 AM)
I honestly believe he was thinking the same thing as Tiger... go as far back as you want. It was just on the wrong line.
Mr. Collins, you can't possibly expect someone to disqualify themselves and add insult to injury for no reason. He took his penalty. He unknowingly broke a rule, and this new rule is there to give him the 2 stroke penalty. If it was 2010, then yes he should've and would've been DQ'd, but it is 2013 and the penalty he is receiving fits the crime.
Michael Collins (11:07 AM)
Go find the story of the kid that DQ'd himself at the US Open qualifier last year the day after the event and then say that to me.
Since Tiger is chasing golf greatness, I believe it appropriate for him to compare to what the greatest players in the game would do. I believe if faced with the same situation, I am confident that he would DQ himself as a point of honor. This is Tiger's grail quest to do what is right.
Michael Collins (11:07 AM)
Very eloquently put
Mike (NY) (NY)
Tiger Woods Quote on the slow play penalty yesterday: "Rules are Rules"
Felicia (New York)
When it comes to the rules of Golf, Tiger has always played with impeccable integrity. This man would not intentionally and deliberate cheat. Official ruling has come down has Tiger would have stood by any other ruling he needs to stand by this one, and play on. That's true integrity, is it not?
Michael Collins (11:10 AM)
True integrity is knowing what your intent was and then doing what is right. I don't need a committee to make it ok for me to play or not play, I know in my heart what's right.
He is doing what is right. This should drive him to win 21 majors instead of 20 so that he puts the rest those that will not count this win.(if he wins)
Michael Collins (11:11 AM)
And how do we in golf stand in front of the world and declare our sport above the others?
Steve (Phoenix, NY)
If Guan is penalized on 17 for slow play and the scorecard shows the penalty stroke, then Tiger signed a wrong scorecard for his infraction. DQ is only fair for the game of golf. Forget about the ratings, GOLFERS are still going to watch the MASTERS !!!
Watch his interview again. He states" I went two yards back and my intention was to hit the shot with 2 less yards." I think he misspoke. Why would someone go 2 yards back and then take another 2 yards off his shot after almost holing it. I think he meant to say I went back to the original spot and wanted to take 2 yards off the same shot.
Michael Collins (11:12 AM)
No, he was saying what he meant. Wanted the ball to land 4 yards short of the hole, one hop and stop
Brian (Granger, IN)
C'mon its over - heck most people won't watch if Tiger is not playing. New rule allows for mistakes. Tiger made a mistake, had bad luck in hitting flag, get off his back.
Michael Collins (11:12 AM)
So because it's Tiger, the rules should be bent a little for tv ratings
Bryan (Philadelphia, PA)
My issue is that "as nearly as possible" isn't clearly defined. Do they literally mean drop it in the divot? If he dropped it 1 foot back, is that a penalty? What about 6 inches? Normal drops give a margin of error of 2 club lengths. His drop was probably 3-4 feet behind the divot, well within the standard drop zone for most other drops. Unless they define precisely what "as nearly as possible" means - in terms of how far from the divot you can drop it (or if you have to drop it in the divot), we're in a position where it's just rules interpretation.
Michael Collins (11:13 AM)
Not after Tiger said on tv what his intent was.
KIRK (RED BAY AL)
YOU AND FERIRTY ARE TIGER HATERS
Michael Collins (11:14 AM)
On the contrary, I'm a huge Tiger fan, but I love the game more than any individual
William (Gurnee, IL)
Tiger took what amounts to a 4 shot penalty on one unlucky shot. He should not DQ himself, that's crazy talk. The rules allow for this to happen exactly as it has today. There is no reason to take a further penalty.
Golf isn't above the other sports. The lame rules and the fact that fans can call in to report violations takes it down a notch. You don't see fans calling in to report an uncalled foul on a basketball player or a holding penalty missed on a football lineman. Officials should make calls on the spot, and if they don't, too bad.
Michael Collins (11:15 AM)
but there are not rules officials on every hole with every group.
Rt (Los angeles)
This new rule is clearly not applicable here. He was aware and could have been aware of the facts. He simply got the rule wrong, which makes him no different from anybody else who has signed an incorrect scorecard. Should have been dq'd and should dq himself (which would actually be the best possible rehab for his image).
For those that say he dropped it "close enough" then why are there penalty shots at all? He intended to do something that the rule does not allow. They are really bending the rule for a star player in this case.
Michael Collins, you keep insisting that Tiger took the illegal drop to gain an advantage; what you're forgetting is that Tiger was under the impression at the time that he was within the boundaries of the rules, so he took it further back on a wrong line. Yes, he broke the rule, but I don't think he intended to. That is to say, had he known that he was breaking the rule, he wouldn't have done it. It's simple as that. He made a mistake, and now Masters is letting him play thanks to the Dustin Johnson rule.
Michael Collins (11:17 AM)
I'm NOT saying he intended to break the rule on purpose, what I'm showing is that his intent was NOT to drop it at "the nearest point where the ball was last played", that takes the, "It was close enough" argument out of the equation.
Mike (Baltimore, MD)
If it wasn't Tiger I think he would be DQ'd but there is no way CBS or Augusta wants that to happen. They are bending the rule for ratings, and if he wins it will be a clouded victory. Tiger not asking for a rules official, and not applying the rules correctly is his fault, not anyone else. He should take the right PR move and WD at this point.
Tom (Syracuse, NY)
This kind of highfalutin, pompous controversy about the "integrity of the game" is what turns so many people off from it. He was assessed his penalty, so let's move on. I've had enough of golf purists putting some of these ridiculous, arbitrary rules on a pedestal.
This is where golf loses people, arcane rules. Seriously, are these rules meant to make the game better or choke out any competitive spirit? What Tiger did was smart and should be within the rules of the game. He dropped a few feet behind his initial shot. What's the big deal?
So the USGA makes a positive change to their rules.....and Tiger is the one to benefit first, so everyone gets riled up. Heh
However Michael you are not taking into account that had he hit the ball directly into the water instead of hitting the flag and careening back into the water at such an obtuse angle than his drop would have then been legal....
Michael Collins (11:20 AM)
I am taking that into account. Doesn't change the facts of what happened. Just helps us understand what Tiger and Joe may have been thinking when they took the drop where they did
Yes, speaking of grail quests, it seems Mister Collins wants to take a little blurb he heard on TV and rewrite this year's Masters, rewrite Tiger's legacy, and rewrite the rules of golf all by himself. Good luck bro. There's nothing unethical about following the rules the best you can and respecting the ruling of officials.
Michael Collins (11:21 AM)
I have no affect on Tiger's legacy. He will determine that on his own
Tiger DQ'd??? Would never happen. Without TW on the leaderboard , 20 yr old reruns of Seinfeld out draw any pga tourney. Golf is dead without him.
Michael Collins (11:22 AM)
So the rules should be bent for him?
Mike (Baltimore, MD)
If this was Sergio would he have been DQ'd or would he WD? How about Bubba, a guy who has IMMENSE respect for the Masters and what it means, would he WD?
Michael Collins (11:23 AM)
I believe they would
Does the fact that the committee ruled WHILE tiger was on the course that he had not broken a role and only after a TV interview that the committee re-reviewed and made the decision on the penalty matter in invoking rule 33-7? I believe the interview goes into the evidence not available prior to signing of the card provision of the rule. Your thoughts?
Michael Collins (11:24 AM)
I think you're misinformed. The committee met and ruled this morning. Well after the scorecard was signed
Michael, please explain what rules they are bending? There is a new rule in place for this. If Tiger didn't interview with the media, this wouldn't even have come up.
Michael Collins (11:25 AM)
but he did and we don't deal in what if's
Michael, I have gained tremendous respect for you today. The game of Golf has always been a game of integrity. Today Tiger has broken that and I am glad to see you have put the game of golf above Tiger. Thank you for that.
Michael Collins (11:28 AM)
Thank you. I can't express my hurt and disappointment enough right now because Tiger is someone I consider a friend. So in chats like these when people call me a Tiger hater or a Tiger lover they really don't understand how much I love the game of golf.
Kendall (New Orleans)
It appears Mr Collins is putting TW above the rules at Masters, Again this it was it seens,
Michael Collins (11:28 AM)
you obviously haven't taken the time to read my previous posts
Again and again. You dodge our questions! WHAT RULE ARE THEY BENDING FOR HIM????
Michael Collins (11:29 AM)
The HD TV rule.
What rules are being bent? The amendment to the rule last year allows review after a scorecard is signed. His intent was not to "break a rule" his intent was to take a drop 2 yards back from the origional hit. Had they informed him of this prior to the round ending he would have shown it on his card. Right??
Michael Collins (11:31 AM)
Exactly right, but no one is saying he intended to break the rules. Not intending to get a girl pregnant doesn't change the fact that she's pregnant. Fact is he broke a rule and signed an incorrect scorecard. That's a DQ no matter what the golfers name is.
Michael Collins (11:33 AM)
I have to go right now BUT... I'll be back on at 1:30 and we can continue this discussion. Thanks everyone!