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December 5, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Michael Collins

Michael Collins
  (2:59 PM)

Welcome everyone! I'm thinking because Tiger won yesterday there are gonna be some new people wanting to weigh in on whether Tiger is back or not, so I'll let you all in on a lil' secret. I'm at lunch with Jermaine Dye and Frank Viola. Jermaine says Tiger's back mentally but until he wins a full field event, he's not all in as a believer. Frank says he saw "that" look in Tiger's eyes, he says Tiger gets three wins next year including a Major! your thoughts?!

yaleman1260 (Vancouver)

Hi Michael,Am I the only one who was shocked to see TW play the 16th as a 3 shot hole on Sunday? It seems that I'm the only one bothered by it...

Michael Collins
  (3:02 PM)

No actually, my boss sent me a message yesterday talking about how "un-Tiger" that hole was for him. I thought at the moment that Zach might win because of that decision.

james, va beach va [via mobile]

Going by yesterday, how many wins do u believe tiger will have in 2012? And why? Do u believe he will be no# 1 in the world again?

Michael Collins
  (3:03 PM)

I said I think Tiger will win four times next year. He'll win the Masters and one other PGA tour event, then win twice somewhere overseas.

Doug/Dayton Ohio [via mobile]

Will Phil Mickelson be a serious contender at any major this year?

Michael Collins
  (3:04 PM)

The Masters will be the only one.

Michael Collins
  (3:04 PM)

The Masters will be the only one.

Michael Collins
  (3:04 PM)

The Masters will be the only one.

Kody Miller (Pocatello Idaho)

Michael, do you that Tiger can once again be dominant the way he was through much of the 2000's? Or are the emerging young players going to be a road block on his way to breaking Jack's record?

Michael Collins
  (3:06 PM)

I believe the generation of guys playing now and young guys coming up are not afraid of Tiger and will give him fits trying to break Jack's record. I don't believe the Tiger from 2000 will ever be seen again.

Ty Jeffery (London, Ontario)

If Tiger wins a major this year, does it make Jack's record easily breakable again?

Michael Collins
  (3:06 PM)

Easily, no. A little more plausible, yes.

Michael Collins
  (3:07 PM)

The problem now with the record of Majors for Tiger is gonna be health. Can he stay healthy? We just don't know.

Aaron (KY)

Much of the focus this week from the TV commentators was on Tiger's putting. I have always believed that the major difference between a normal 2-3 handicapper and the top pros is chipping and putting. How much do these top pros rely on their caddies to help them read the greens? Have you known of any top players to rely solely on their caddie for this aquired skill?

Michael Collins
  (3:11 PM)

I'd put the percentage at 5% of guys rely solely on their caddies to read greens. And that is the biggest difference between the guys on tour and the really good golfers you know at your home course. Short game around the greens and putting

Michael from Oakland [via mobile]

Michael, Tiger WON! We Tiger fans need to hear from you my brotha! I can't wait till 2012!

Michael Collins
  (3:12 PM)

Here I am.... Taa Daa!

Listrom (New York)

Last place gets $140,000. 17 players. "Show Up. Hit Some shots Let Tiger Win"

Michael Collins
  (3:13 PM)

So why didn't Graeme McDowell let Tiger win last year? Don't be a hater.

JT (Baltimore)

any insight on Qschool from a caddies perspective? We all know its golfs most gruelling challenge, but what are some things we may not know?

Michael Collins
  (3:14 PM)

The driving range on the first and final rounds are the quietest places on earth. Like a church library only more eerie.

Shoshana (Boston)

Tiger's putting was always streaky, his short game and iron play looked pretty nice though

Michael Collins
  (3:18 PM)

That's what gave me hope. Seeing him hit his irons WHERE he wanted to.

Patrick (Charlottesville, VA)

Do you think we'll see a Rory-Tiger rivalry develop this season?

Michael Collins
  (3:19 PM)

Sabbatini is looking over my shoulder now, he says, "which Rory"!! seriously. lol

Darren Skelton (Waterford Ireland)

Are you as bewildered as I am that KJ Choi is 4th in earnings at the moment?

Michael Collins
  (3:23 PM)

Not at all, "the Tank" has the demeanor that makes him dominate on the course when all others are having panic attacks. And when that putter is on... WHOA

Shoshana (Boston)

The Tiger from 2000 has never been seen before or since, even by the guy playing for the last decade as Tiger. Can't we just appreciate that as an anomaly?

Michael Collins
  (3:24 PM)

No, because we want to see it again. People thought Bobby Jones should win the Grand Slam every year.

Bob (Seattle)

Ever watch Alvaro Quiros putt? Ugh. Gets lined up by his caddie.

Michael Collins
  (3:25 PM)

That's 60% of the LPGA tour. Nothing wrong with it if it works. Kevin Na does it for full shots

George (Toronto)

I thinks Tiger will win five events this year including the British Open and the Masters. I think he exonerated some ghosts yesterday in his own backyard (best place to start). To play as badly as he has for two years, and to still be in the elite is remarkable. No one has run away with the number one player status-a lot of unproven top ranked players currently.

Michael Collins
  (3:27 PM)

Yes but the talent of the "field" has risen too and that's what a lot of people are failing to realize. No one is scared of anyone anymore and it's why we don't have a dominant force in golf right now. No fear from one player.

Isaac (Atlanta, GA)

Would Tiger have won in a 50 player field? Did he perform better than anyone else would've in those conditions?

Michael Collins
  (3:28 PM)

We'll never know, but we'll find out in a couple months when we see him on the PGA Tour for the first time.

Bob (Seattle)

If you were caddying for Zach Johnson, would you ever think to yourself "just hit the ball"? Seemed like paralysis by analysis during the final round.

Michael Collins
  (3:29 PM)

when I looked at my bank account if I was caddying for Zach, I'd be screaming, "TAKE YOUR TIME!!!"

John (Lakewood, CO)

A non-Tiger question! Which would you rather experience - Being on somebody's bad for a win at a Major or shooting a 59 yourself?

Michael Collins
  (3:30 PM)

There's caddy blodd in my veins, if I had the chance to caddy a win at a major, I'd take that over shooting 58.

bjturk (Chandler, AZ)

What options does the player have if his caddie no-shows, or if the caddie starts but can't complete the round? Would he pull somebody from the gallery and throw the bib on him?

Michael Collins
  (3:31 PM)

Yeah, and it's happened before. Last time, a caddie quit in the middle of a round. Player just grabbed a buddy from the crowd. It's happened more than a few times.

Lidstrom (New York)

17 players. Just keeping it real I bet you a MILLION dollars Tiger could not win Q-School

Michael Collins
  (3:32 PM)

Not taking that bet because he's never had to play for that. And you're right.

Jill (Toronto, Canada)

Tiger will win 2 Majors in 2012.

bjturk (Chandler, AZ)

With the purses (and caddie cuts thereof) so much smaller on the LPGA Tour, how many caddies there can actually afford to do it full time? Are many of them just available for the taking at each tournament?

Michael Collins
  (3:34 PM)

sometime's to do what you love you have to live on the cheap. Think about the guys on the Nationwide Tour. I did it for a couple years too. You do what you have to. Sometime 4 guys to a hotel room, carpool... whatever it takes.

Glenn (Chicago)

Michael, this is one step in Tiger getting his game back. He looked good from the tee and fairway, but his putting is still suspect. What advice as a former caddy would you give him?

Michael Collins
  (3:35 PM)

Play more. The only way to get really comfy with the putter under pressure is to play tournament golf. No short cuts.

Ed (Long Island)

Seems you really enjoyed caddying. Why aren't you still doing it?

Michael Collins
  (3:37 PM)

Because I love the opportunity I have here. I'm a comedian and caddie, what better place to show off both talents and maybe branch out!

GEORGE (TORONTO)

Tiger will win five times this year. He has exonerated some ghosts of the past two years with this win. He has and will continue to enhance his "will to win". No one is dominating the links currently, so his opportunities will be maximized. I think he will win the Masters and the British Open. Jacks record I think will fall late 2013 or early 2014.

Michael Collins
  (3:39 PM)

That is a little bit much, but I like that you wrote it with conviction!

Aaron (KY)

By observation it seemed like Tigers' approach shots were mainly played with a controlled cut. Has he always played a cut or is this new with his new swing?

Michael Collins
  (3:39 PM)

That was always his "go to" shot. The cut is the easiest shot for a pro to control.

John (Charlottesville, VA)

With the way Tiger stays in shape, and, with the benefits of modern medicine and conditioning, how long do you think that Tiger can stay competitive enough to win majors? Jack won at 46, but could Tiger be the first to win a major post-50?

Michael Collins
  (3:40 PM)

Seeing how close Tom Watson came to the British a couple years ago, I do see someone winning a major after turning 50. Will it be Tiger? I really think his health may not hold up that long.

Kody Miller (Idaho)

Between Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson who do you think is the better player?

Michael Collins
  (3:41 PM)

if they played head to head 100 times, I'd take Bubba but not by much. 55-45

Matt (SC)

Any chance we could see a Woods/McIlroy rivalry emerge? Something like Palmer/Nicholson?

Michael Collins
  (3:43 PM)

It would be really cool to see but I think the strength of the fields are making it very difficult for only two guys to have that kind of rivalry.

Jon (Iowa)

Glad to see Duval put a couple good finishing rounds together out in the Desert. While he will be a little short of the top 25 I can't imagine he'll have any trouble playing via exemptions, etc.

Michael Collins
  (3:45 PM)

He's one of the good guys on tour, and he deserves as many exemptions as he asks for. You know how humble you have to be to go back to second stage of Q after being world #1?! I'm a HUGE fan of DD.

Jon (Iowa)

Here's one for you.. What is the neatest thing you have received in any 'caddy pack'?? I've been on staff for the Champions Tour event in Des Moines the past three years, and it's kind of neat to see the things the caddies receive in their hospitality pack.

Michael Collins
  (3:47 PM)

at the Barclay's when it was played at Liberty we got really cool flip flops with a bottle opener on the bottom. I still have them. One year in San Antonio we got really nice Swiss Army watches. I have that too. Those are the coolest gifts. But many tournaments throw us parties that are great too.

Chris (California)

Hey Michael! You said in your podcast that you'd like to see him do more reps and enter tournaments he wouldn't necessarily enter. Do you think there's a chance of him doing this?

Michael Collins
  (3:49 PM)

Unfortunately no. I think he is so locked in now especially because of his kids. That he won't be able to add more than maybe one tourney. But because of the kids, I give him a little bit of a pass.

Warren (Virginia) [via mobile]

Is it very common for a pro to play a pitch from the putting surface the way Zach did on Sunday?

Michael Collins
  (3:50 PM)

In a situation like that, yeah, there are a lot of pros that would do it. We don't do it because of the divots we'd leave on the greens!! ;)

Nick (Atlanta)

You know the difference between Tiger in August and Tiger in November/December. PLAYING TOURNAMENT GOLF! You can't stay sharp blasting balls from Juniper. He needs to keep his mental edge. I just don't think this will do much once 2012 rolls around.

Michael Collins
  (3:52 PM)

he's not scheduled to play again for 7 weeks, that's a LONG time. I hope he can keep it going.

Joe (Augusta, GA)

I don't get why people keep trying to make a small field into some sort of reason why Tiger won. It doesn't matter how many people are in the field...it matters the talent in the field. Seriosly, what's better 170 sucky golfers or 17 other of the best golfers in the world?

Michael Collins
  (3:54 PM)

Joe, there are no "sucky" golfers on tour. That's why we saw so many first time winners the last two years. It's also why all of us close to golf know that if there are 144 guys teeing it up, the chances of winning go down incredibly.

jack [via mobile]

Why did tiger gain 30 spots in ogwr for an 18 person exhibition?

Michael Collins
  (3:55 PM)

because the field required everyone to be inside the top 50 earlier in the year so the points given were weighted because of the strength of the field

barb (melbourne, fl)

I think the most significant thing about tiger's win yesterday was the he way he made those two birdie putts on 17 and 18 to come back and win - like the tiger of old !!

Michael Collins
  (3:57 PM)

totally agree and that's what most of the guys I played with today said too. It was the look in his eyes on the last two greens that we remember. The question becomes, how many chance will he have so we can see that look again next year?

Chuck (DC)

How come Tiger is bombing it again? Did Hank's swing shorten Tiger's ability to hit the ball far?

Michael Collins
  (3:57 PM)

No, but when you don't know where the tee ball is going, you can't swing freely.

Aaron (KY)

I hate living in KY during the winter, watching these guys on TV play golf in December, January, Febuary. What is the top destination on your list to live and be able to play golf year round?

Michael Collins
  (3:58 PM)

it's 80 in FL today and I just finished playing at Celebration. Sorry if that hurt a little! ;)

John (Lakewood, CO)

Your opinion - for the "average" golfer does the ball you're playing really make any difference besides that it hurts less to lose inexpensive ones?

Michael Collins
  (3:59 PM)

It makes a huge difference. You're not gonna spin a Pinnacle like a Pro V1. But there are mid range priced golf balls that can perform pretty good for the average hack like us.

Michael Collins
  (4:00 PM)

It's been a fun hour y'all. Thanks again for the chat. If there are any questions I didn't get to answer and they're driving you nuts, email me. ESPNCaddie@gmail.comI WILL answer you. Talk to you soon!!