Chat with Michael Collins
Welcome to Sportsnation! On Friday, 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 Friday at 3 p.m. ET!
Michael Collins (3:00 PM)
It's the fastest hour in golf. Tiger and Rory both kicked to the curb in round one, that's the beauty and horror of match play. How many of your brackets are busted already? BRING IT!
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Was this is the Very First PGA Tour Event That was Postponed due to Snow ever?
Michael Collins (3:01 PM)
No, it's happened before. One year there was a hail storm and guys went out and tried to putt over it for fun.
Do you have any crazy hole-in-one stories?
Michael Collins (3:03 PM)
I've only had one but... the one I've caddied came after I told a player he sucked on the course. And at the end of the round one of the other golfers in the group told me to call him when I had a week off cause he wanted me to caddie for him. Guy went: birdie, birdie, hole in one after I said it.
Tiger, Rory, and Phil all call you the same day to loop for them. Same financial deals. Who do you take and why?
Michael Collins (3:05 PM)
I'd take Tiger first, Rory, second, and Phil third. But it'd be VERY tough between the three. I'd take Tiger first because I'd love to dissect a course with him and have fun talking sports all day too.
Are they ever going to show a golf match... where we .. the viewers are not being forced to watch a PUTT PUTT contest... Golf is about all the shots... and not just the putting... It is not fair to force the viewers... to watching putting all day.
Michael Collins (3:07 PM)
Even though it's "putt for dough" I feel your frustration. Hard part... it's on the greens where the matches are determined. But I feel ya Larry.
teemcneill (winnipeg) [via mobile]
Hi Mike! Do the guys actaully enjoy the match play tourney? Or is it one of those instances where if you are invited to play ot is too much money to pass up regardless of whether or not you enjoy the format?
Michael Collins (3:08 PM)
Guys love it. And I'd go so far as to say it would be a good Idea to try a full field event (128) with bye's for the top seeds. Guys would embrace it.
What Bracket? (whistling past)
Michael Collins (3:09 PM)
When do you think Rory is going to turn it around? Honda, Doral, Houston?
Michael Collins (3:10 PM)
He'll be sorted out by Doral, but he still needs another week to get those clubs and golf ball dialed in correctly.
Dave Shaut (Cincinnati)
What do the players think of the Dove Mountain course? Like it, hate it, why/
Michael Collins (3:11 PM)
Most players are not fans of the course. Hate the greens. Huge greens with very small areas to put the holes, which sounds ridiculous but is true.
joe cunningham (toronto)
hi michael...do you think that adjustable drivers are beneficial to people with high handicaps....mine is 16....thanks
Michael Collins (3:12 PM)
yes. but you have to go get fit and get the correct shaft. most amateurs have the incorrect shafts in their clubs. But yeah, it'll really help.
Hey Michael. What do you think of Shane Lowry?
Michael Collins (3:14 PM)
Looks like Colt Knost's brother and has short game that's unbelievable. I just worry about his adrenalin crash even if he gets past round 2.
James Forster (Philadelphia)
Any cold beers and pizza tonight Michael?
Michael Collins (3:15 PM)
Nope, I'm in Daytona right now and as soon as we're done I'm going to the racetrack! This is my first Daytona 500 and I wann see EVERYTHING starting with the truck series tonight.
With Tiger and Rory both out early, do we REALLY want more match play?
Michael Collins (3:17 PM)
What good golf doesn't happen without them? Maybe you should watch a little more.
Tiger Woods (somewhere warm)
How smart is Phil now? I played 21 holes of golf total (including practice) made 45k and now get to go on vacation
Michael Collins (3:18 PM)
You mean you froze your butt off and didn't make enough money to pay for the roundtrip private jet fuel? Maybe Phil IS a genus.
Tiger and Rory exits could not have been more different... Tiger shot -2 I believe and Rory was +3. If Rory does not turn it around by Doral, does some doubt creep in?
Michael Collins (3:19 PM)
I think if he doesn't make the cut at Honda there may be some doubt start to creep in.
Match play is great, but single elimination 18 holes feels to capricious for a (theoretically) important event. Think you need to do double elimination until top 8. Also enough of Dove Mtn. I'm not sure what Nicklaus was thinking when he designed the course, but he was clearly inspired by sleeping elephant herds
Michael Collins (3:22 PM)
I like the single elimination better. Play well or go home, no second chances for this kind of money.I think Jack designed Dove Mountain in a bitter state and wanted to punish guys. And for spectators it's a HORRIFIC walk.
What would be the best match play course? I think they should be playing that on the Florida swing where weather this year is a little more stable.
Michael Collins (3:23 PM)
In my video I said they should play somewhere in the Caribbean. It's the "World" Golf Championship, why not use the WORLD?!
Scott Piercy currently 5up on Luke Donald and is -5 thru 8 holes... is this a break out year for him?
Michael Collins (3:25 PM)
6 up thru 9 right now... and yeah, I think Scott has found a comfortable zone now on tour, he's confident that when he plays well he can win and he knows his game can hold up with the best in the world. I see him contending for a major this year. Maybe PGA Championship
@Chris Rory wishes he was only +3 yesterday you're forgetting the hole he conceded after sculling the bunker shot into the cacti
Plenty of good golf happens without Tiger and Rory, on the other hand I think I saw someone putting NBC sports execs on suicide watch at around 8pm ET
Michael Collins (3:27 PM)
It's true. Great golf happens... and no one sees it. I'm sure there are some counselors on the phone right now talking some execs off a ledge. And if Oosty looses, my winner is OUT!
Dan Ica Pat Rick (Daytona)
Winner of the 2013 Masters is?
Michael Collins (3:28 PM)
I still think Rory can be ready in time.
Do you think other golfers would rather play Tiger or Ian Poulter in match play?
Michael Collins (3:30 PM)
Honestly I don't think it would matter. If a guy is playing well, they think they can beat anyone. But in a team environment, NO one wants to be against Poulter cause he makes his teammate so much better as well.
I watch plenty. Hoping Thorbjorn Olesen saves my bracket right now. But wouldn't we all like to see a Tiger/Rory showdown vs. (potentially) Charles Howell vs Shane Lowry?
Michael Collins (3:30 PM)
That's true. 8 million viewers vs. 8HAHA
Sue (New Jersey)
How is the crowd without Tiger and Rory? Very disappointing I am sure!
Michael Collins (3:31 PM)
The crowds up there are sparse even when they're there because the course is such a brutal walk for spectators. Holes are not close to one another so it's easy to get behind if you're outside the ropes.
If you're in Daytona sneak over to Hull's Fish market in Ormond Beach, 10-15 minutes from Speedway.
Michael Collins (3:32 PM)
Will do if time permits... thanks for the heads up
Is anyone, anyone picked to win going to be left after today? Rose out, Donald looks like joining, maybe Loius, cripes
Mark (Tempe, AZ)
If the powers that be want to keep it in US, and considering the support the PHX Open gets on SuperBowl weekend no less, why not bring the match play to another course here in PHX? There are plenty of great ones to choose from...
Michael Collins (3:35 PM)
I just think the Caribbean makes sense cause it's great weather and still close to where the east coast swing starts
I'd love to get the tour back to Castle Pines. Stableford (sp?) was fun, but match play at a mile high would be a blast. I think Shoshana is right, double elim through top eight and play all spots off on Sunday. More people would watch a Rory/Tiger 7th and 8th place match than a Shrek/Luke Donald match for the win. Besides the lower placed matches would probably have the guys going for it on every shot. Good t.v.
Michael Collins (3:36 PM)
Like the way you're thinking except I'm pretty sure THAT course is under snow this time of year too.
Is Tiger still "going though the motions" or will he be ready in 2013 to stomp on someones throat on Sundays?
Michael Collins (3:37 PM)
You think his win at Farmers Insurance Open was just "going thru the motions"?
Said it before match-play started and will say it now: anyone who reads anything into anything this week is foolish. Between the format and Dove Mtn, it's just goofy. We will have a much better read on Rory after Doral. Same is true for most of these guys
Stuck at work. What's happening with McDowell/Noren?
Michael Collins (3:38 PM)
All square thru 7
Seems Dustin Johnson has lost focus of his golf game and is more worried about Ms. Gretzky (not that i blame him). Your thoughts?
Michael Collins (3:40 PM)
Well supposedly they were already dating when he won in Maui. No he's just a guy who's on and off. When he's on he's ON. But when he's off, he's WAY off.
Has the #1 seed ever one this thing?
Michael Collins (3:41 PM)
Tiger won 3 times as the number one seed.
At Dove Mtn I'd rather play Tiger. Anywhere else give me Ian Poulter
how long until Rory ditches the Nike flatstick and uses the Scotty Cameron full-time?
Michael Collins (3:42 PM)
After Doral if he doesn't putt well the next two weeks.
Keith H (Seattle)
So Dove Mountain is a brutal walk and Tuscon isn't exactly a huge population center. Then why is the tournament there? Or is the sponsor shoving this one down our throats?
Michael Collins (3:45 PM)
I'm not saying there may be a conspiracy theory there, but I'm not saying there isn't either.
Cute, MC. Was thinking more about a second match play format in summer/fall. But, golf is a 12 month sport year, just not too many days some months!! That said, any tips for cold weather golf other bright yellow balls?
Michael Collins (3:47 PM)
Glad you got that joke.As for winter golf... get a simulator and put it in the basement! They're inexpensive now and then weather outside won't matter, plus you can charge your friends and they'll end up paying for it!! ;)
joe cunningham (toronto)
that club/course that joined the tavistock cup 2 years ago is in bahamas?is it suitable for the match play?
Michael Collins (3:48 PM)
I'd love to see them play at the Ocean Club on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
MC...i was refering to his TW struggles on the weekend. He owned them in previous years. He limped home at Farmers. He eve said he gave himself enough of an early cushion to win. I dont think he can do that at a major championship.
Michael Collins (3:50 PM)
I think he "limped" home at Farmers cause the round took too long and he couldn't get any rhythm going. But I do think he's gotta have his A game in majors this year on the weekends
Other than Tiger (for most of his career) is there anyone who when they're off isn't way off? (see Rory last yr)
Michael Collins (3:51 PM)
there are plenty of guys that can make cuts and top twenty when they're off. guys do it every week
Do pros put a new set of irons in play every year? They have to wear our the grooves pretty rapidly with how square they hit the ball!
Michael Collins (3:55 PM)
Yes, and some switch sets halfway thru the year. There are some guys like Brian Gay that will keep a set for two years but those are the exception.
Kyle J Koegle (Las Vegas)
I bet Scott Piercy for the Masters @ 80-1 do you think he has a shot, or does he just not know the course yet?
Michael Collins (3:56 PM)
That's a course that takes a while to get used to but I wouldn't put a top 5 past him there.
If the match play format is so unpopular (judging from all the comments), then why does the USGA use it for the US Amateur and other such competitions? Wouldn't stroke play be fairer?
Michael Collins (3:57 PM)
Who says it's unpopular? Guys don't like the course, love the format.
Which major do you think Brandt has the best shot of winning? Masters?
Michael Collins (3:58 PM)
Tom [via mobile]
OK, follow up on the hole in one guy. I assume he wasn't a pro, but what did he do that you told him he sucked?
Michael Collins (3:59 PM)
He was a pro. John "Jumbo" Elliott. But I don't have time to give all the details here. Maybe someday I'll do a video blog and tell the story. I was great, one of my favorite memories caddying.
match play is great, although the earlier rounds are better. By Sunday it's very slow to watch on TV. Hence the suggestions to play it out to more places. Not like they aren't being paid enough & don't do it every other week.
Simulator, Kegerator and a smoke eater for the cigar smoke. There will be a new fastest hour in golf.
Michael Collins (4:00 PM)
HAHA, this will ALWAYS be the fastest hour in golf!!
Michael Collins (4:01 PM)
And on that note... have a great weekend everyone! Let's do it again on Monday.Same time, same channel!!Thanks all.MC