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January 23, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Michael Collins

Michael Collins
  (3:00 PM)

Hey hey everyone! Another quick hour of fun and golf talk! I started a bit of a firestorm with my video blog on appearance fees and want to get started by getting your thoughts.

Cody (Illinois)

TigerMania! This week is finally here and without football Tiger takes the front page! What do you think will happen if Tiger wins this week against the Europeans?

Michael Collins
  (3:01 PM)

I think it'll be huge news because he beat 10 of the top 25 players in the world including #1 thru

Ty Z (St. Louis)

I believe that the pga tour doesn't need to go to appreance fees. It still is a strong tour and has good ratings. You have to agree that most players look at the majors and when they are scheduled and work off of that to be prepared for them. Sorry for some events and when you are scheduled. Nothing you can do.

Michael Collins
  (3:06 PM)

But do you agree that will continue? I don't. It's all about world ranking points to get into majors and the more European tour events that have the worlds top ranked golfers means more points to those who play. That means getting into majors more easily. And that's where you're looking right?

Greg (DE)

What Kind of Year do you think Luke Donald will have?

Michael Collins
  (3:07 PM)

I think he stays at World's #1 for the year. I think he's not getting the respect he feels he deserves at the top and will use it to fuel him to stay there. He's the most consistent golfer we've seen for a long time and we better get used to it cause he's not gonna stop working hard, at least according to his tweets

Alex (Anaheim)

Garrigus had his chances to win the Humana down the stretch, didn't he?

Michael Collins
  (3:09 PM)

Yes, and ironically enough is was his putter nicknamed Dr. Evil that let him down on the par fives on Sunday, BUT if he can do that in his first event using a long putter, we may be in for an EVIL year on tour!!! Ok that was a cheesy joke but it was funny.

John Passhel (Another locker)

You didn't respond last time, where i told you i'm still being bullied, so i just want to ask you again if you could help me out...

Michael Collins
  (3:10 PM)

Where are you being bullied and how many guys are roughing you up verbally?

Ed (Long Island)

What is your logic in that appearance fees on the PGA Tour would work? Top tier players already have slimmed down schedules, just giving them more money will further limit their schedules. Their other marketing monies aren't going to dry up.

Michael Collins
  (3:14 PM)

Top tier players have "slimmed down" schedules because they are doing more corporate outings for cash. So if you want them to play more on PGA Tour events, pay them. You think they're all playing Abu Dhabi cause it's a great course?! First place is approx. $435k. If a guy was getting half a million to show up at an event I bet ya a million bucks his schedule would get a lot "fatter"!

Andy (St. Louis)

Do you wish you could hit the ball like Happy Gilmore?

Michael Collins
  (3:14 PM)

I can. But I'm a better putter.

Greg (DE)

I think the PGA Tour should look into appearance fees. There is no question that the world rankings are euro heavy. The PGA tour must do what it can to remain competitive especially as the game become increasingly global

Michael Collins
  (3:15 PM)

The game is going global, the consequence of that is we're losing the top players on the PGA Tour. Pay the appearance fees and we keep them here.

Keith (Milwaukee (WI))

Thoughts on Mark Wilson's win this weekend?

Michael Collins
  (3:18 PM)

He's the best player on tour in January and February on tour the last calendar year. Starnge though that 3 of his 5 wins came during tournaments that had more than 18 holes played on one of the days. Still, proves the short hitters can still win on tour.

G.P. (ND)

On the 18th Mark Wilson and the other were really joking around and very loose. What % of players are actually like this and what % are totally locked in, ala Tiger?

Michael Collins
  (3:20 PM)

I think it really depends on the group. Garrigus is known for cutting it up pretty good on the course even when he;s in contention, and you'd be surprised at how many times Tiger will joke around on the course. I'd say it's 50-50.

G.P. (ND)

Michael, do members of the media actually like Phil, or do they think he is fake and is putting on a different face that who he actually is?

Michael Collins
  (3:22 PM)

He's liked, he just takes WAAAAY too long to come out of the scoring trailer after a round. We have a running joke on tour about how long he stays in there and why. And no, there's isn't a bathroom in there so that's not why.

Chuck (Durango, CO)

Athletes in all the other major sports (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL) have guaranteed contracts. I'm not sure why golfers should have to play well to get paid when their counterparts in other sports don't have to.

Michael Collins
  (3:25 PM)

I don't want anyone to misunderstand what I'm saying. I think the reason that golf is better than the other major sports is because if you don't play well you don't get paid and your job can be lost every year due to that fact. I just think in order to keep the best players on the best tour (or at least if you wanna call yourself that) you have to do what the other tours are doing to draw them away.

Steve (SF)

Do you still perform Standup comedy?

Michael Collins
  (3:25 PM)

I sneak on stage every once in a while. It's my therapy.

Jon (Des Moines)

Els played well down in South Africa. Wondering if he's ready for a bounce back season, and if you feel like he'll play well this week at Torrey Pines.. One of the smoothest swings I have ever seen. Thanks, MC.

Michael Collins
  (3:27 PM)

Ernie has the best tempo swing in golf especially for a big man. Unfortunately it's his putting that seems to have left him and I don't know if he's found the answer and confidence (or ever will) to have a "breakout" season like we'd love to see from the Big Easy.

Ed (Long Island)

I disagree that we are "losing" players on the PGA tour. How many Americans are playing the European tour. Conversely look at how many Europeans and others commit to playing on the PGA tour. Golf is going through a cycle where there are a few elite European golfers that are doing better than their American competitors. If appearance fees are that compelling on a regular basis, why does Luke Donald, and now Rory and Lee play the PGA Tour??

Michael Collins
  (3:32 PM)

Where exactly are they playing this week? Count the WGC's and major's, they only have to play 7 pga tour events to be members. There are 38 PGA Tour events!!! Time to get your head out of the sand, de-nile is not just a river. C'Mon Man!!

Greg (DE)

Will you be paying more attention to Torrey Pines or Abu Dabi this week?

Michael Collins
  (3:34 PM)

my alarm clock will be set for 3:50 am Thursday morning if that's a hint.

Shoshana (Taking a break)

PGA tour events already hand out appearance fees (ahem RBC), this would just formalize it. And if a guy is making money for an event why shouldn't they get a cut?

Michael Collins
  (3:36 PM)

I agree completely. It didn't fit in my video blog but guys can get "off site appearance fee" money from a sponsor to do a corporate event. It's a little too much like the NCAA for me which is why I want it out of the shadows. Make it legit.

Patrick (Charlottesville, VA)

Giants-Patriots Part Deux: As a Pittsburgh native and fan, I'm counting on Eli & Co. to bail me out again. As a suffering Eagles fan, who you got?

Michael Collins
  (3:37 PM)

I can't handle another NY Giants Super Bowl win. Gotta go with the Pats, and Brady is due for a BIG Super Bowl performance. You just had to bring me down and tell everyone about my Eagles pain!! ;)

jack dublin oh [via mobile]

Will phil win more than tiger this season?

Michael Collins
  (3:38 PM)

Nope

Andrew (WI)

All this discussion is telling me is that sooner or later, someone needs to get a world tour going and get everyone onboard with it.

Michael Collins
  (3:40 PM)

Ask Greg Norman how that talk turned out! I am a big advocate for the guys that are between 100 and 150 on the money list on the PGA Tour and allowing them to get a fair shake at becoming a big star too. The only way that can happen is if they get a chance to tee it up against the top. I'm not for a world tour in the sense of every week a WGC event.

Shoshana (Taking a break)

You heard anything on how players feel about the potential Nationwide/Qschool changes proposal that's going to be floated at the players meeting on Tues?

Michael Collins
  (3:42 PM)

most of the guys I talked to do not want to change it, and I agree. It's not broken. And Cinderella needs to get to the dance, there's no magic if she doesn't even get to go

tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]

As a long time fan of the PGA tour, I am on the fence on appearance fees. I love watching golf, but I'm like Tiger, only the majors really matter to me (or if a Canadian is near the leader board). I think the bigger problem is the PGA is not doing a great job "creating stars". Almost every vignette I see is a sappy piece on the players love of the game or a personal tragedy that they had to live through. They rarely show the player having fun and it seems any outspoken player is catagorized as a jerk. That's my two cents. love the chats.

Michael Collins
  (3:45 PM)

Thanks, and you're going to LOVE my video's getting to know the pros coming later this year! Haven't come up with an official name yet but I have some fun with the guys and you get to see them answer questions about themselves. Cool and fun, a different side you've never seen, and NO SAP!! ;)

jack dublin oh [via mobile]

Who is the better golfer? jack or tiger?

Michael Collins
  (3:48 PM)

That's like asking if Tyson at his best could beat Ali at his best... "Jack from Dublin" and I can't wait to get there this year and hit Thurmond's for the best burger on tour!!

Shoshana (Taking a break)

Thanks for the chat. Gotta go. But wanted to wish a happy 23rd birthday to the most dominant golfer on the planet: Yani! Going to be a great year for the LPGA I think

Michael Collins
  (3:48 PM)

Agreed. Now get back to work ya slacker!

Greg (DE)

Don't you think that tournament directors of struggling tournaments should be pushing for appearance fees as a way to strength their field?

Michael Collins
  (3:52 PM)

Absolutely! You think someone at the McGladry's Classic wouldn't throw some cash around to get Tiger, Luke, McIlroy, and Westwood? And that's just using one Fall Series event with limited ticket sales as an example. How much is Tiger, Luke, and Rory worth to a tournament with a $3 million dollar purse? Ask Abu Dhabi.

Michael (OREGON)

Will Ricky Fowler find his first win this year? I love the Tiger-Phil rivalry. But we need the Fowler-Mcilroy rivalry to begin.

Michael Collins
  (3:54 PM)

Yes, Rickie will win this year. In order for there to be a rivalry, Rickie is REALLY gonna have to step up his game though. It's possible, but I don't know that it'll happen this year.

Kenny Rogers (Heaven)

Top 5 autograph signers on TOUR?

Michael Collins
  (3:57 PM)

Wow, great question. I definitely have to put Phil up there. I'll also say KJ Choi, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, and Steve Stricker

Greg (DE)

Will you be at Agusta this year? What is the best part of covering the masters?

Michael Collins
  (3:57 PM)

Yes. There's a bad part of covering the Masters?!

Jamie (NH )

I think that what Peter U is doing will benefit his career in the future, what do you think about him signing with Chubby and going overseas to play for a year?

Michael Collins
  (4:01 PM)

I like him signing with Chubby (ISM), I don't know that him playing overseas more will give him an advantage or disadvantage over the guys who play all year over here. I do think it will get him ranked higher on the OWGR if he wins events abroad as opposed to finishing outside the top ten in PGA Tour events and that will help get him into more WGC's and majors... eventually

Michael Collins
  (4:03 PM)

Man, this was fun. Thanks for all the opinions and notes. Let's do it again soon. You can always send me emails at ESPNCaddie@gmail.comtalk to ya soon!MC