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June 11, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Michael Collins

Michael Collins
  (3:00 PM)

US Open week and I've been here since late Friday afternoon. Weather won't be an excuse for scoring this year, at least for the first two rounds according to the forecast which means the USGA can make this as hard as they want. What is the winning score y'all see this year?

bob jerseycity nj [via mobile]

give me 3 golfers u think can win us open

Michael Collins
  (3:01 PM)

Tiger, Rory McIlroy, and Dustin Johnson

Abshir Esse (Memphis)

What do you think of Joseph Bramlett's game? Do you think he'll stay on the top 25 on the N'wide tour and get his card? What's his biggest weakness?

Michael Collins
  (3:02 PM)

I think he can stay in the top 25 and make it back to the tour but he has got to work on his game around the green and he has GOT to work on his pace of play. He can make Kevin Na look fast at times.

Johnny D (G'ville)

Which non-major champ do you see with the best shot at Olympic out of Donald/Mahan/Kuchar?

Michael Collins
  (3:03 PM)

Luke Donald. The course is not a particularly long by US Open standards but hitting it to the right spots and having a great short game will be key which plays into Luke's hands.

Andrew (WI)

Tiger/Phil/Rory over the field? At Augusta, with the smaller field and experience factor, fine, but in a field of 156, in the US Open, you're bonkers. Well, you're bonkers anyways, but the good kind.

Michael Collins
  (3:05 PM)

Thanks... I think? Watching Phil practice on Saturday, seeing Tiger at Memorial, and seeing Rory's game coming back into form last week. Hard to pick against them in that situation.

Tom (L.A.)

Mike - wasn't trollin' ya, I swear, but I happened across a TwitPic of you and Pia Nilsson recently. Personally I'm a big fan of her and Lynn and use their teachings for my own game. You a big fan as well?

Michael Collins
  (3:08 PM)

Don't mind having a stalker or two. Haha. I'm a big fan of Vision 54, and Kevin Streelman and I did a bunch of work with them when we won the Kodak Challenge. They are extremely smart when it comes to the mental side of golf and how your body responds in different situations.

Tim (SF)

670 yard par 5? check. 247 yard par 3? check. World's greatest hotdogburger stand? check. Unbelievable weather? check. Seriously though, how tough is OClub gonna play. What do you think?

Michael Collins
  (3:10 PM)

You forgot one... USGA setting up the course so players are pulling their hair out? Check. This course is gonna play so much harder than it looks which is what's gonna give these guys fits.

Barb (FL)

Were you out there early this morning? How did Tiger look? Was he hitting the fairways and greens?

Michael Collins
  (3:12 PM)

Harig and Maguire followed him for a few holes. Tiger used today for what is was for, practice. Hit a few tee shots with different clubs trying to get the feel of the course. Some good some bad. Remember, you don't wanna "peak" on Monday.

Joe (Wales)

KJ Choi and Lee Westwood - two top contenders for a Major win, could this be the time?

Michael Collins
  (3:12 PM)

Westwood, maybe. KJ, I'm not feeling it.

jc (TX)

Mike - Which 5 players are "guaranteed" to make the cut in the Open. Also, when will you be taking over for Charlie Manuel?

Michael Collins
  (3:15 PM)

No one is guaranteed to make the cut, especially with where the trees set up off some of the tee shots. I wouldn't take the Phillies manager job for any reason this year! And I'm a fan of Charlie Manuel.

Scott (Columbia)

Since Olympic is somewhat short, don't you think we will see a bunch of stinger 3 woods from Tiger? Keeping the driver in the bag should help don't you think?

Michael Collins
  (3:16 PM)

Walking the course yesterday I thought there were 8 holes where Tiger COULD hit driver, but only 4-5 where I thought he had to hit driver. And yeah the less drivers he has to hit the better.

Ed (Long Island)

Any water on the course to be concerned about?

Michael Collins
  (3:17 PM)

Not really. There's a hazard left of 13 and 14 that could come into play but other than that, none.

Booze (Stone Mountain, GA)

Best amateur qualifier with a chance at hanging with the big boys?

Michael Collins
  (3:18 PM)

Patrick Cantlay because he's had some experience and success playing at the highest level against the pros.

Chris (New Orleans)

Michael, what gave you such a good feeling about Phil's practice session?

Michael Collins
  (3:19 PM)

He was focused and didn't miss a shot around the green hitting all kinds of chips, and he's gonna need his short game magic this week.

Tackman (Columbia, Illinois)

Past history at Olympic would seem lend itself to more of a plodder. Who in your mind would fit the bill?

Michael Collins
  (3:20 PM)

Zach Johnson. The ultimate grinder.

Rob (Philly)

Think you're the best golf possibly all sport reporter/interviewer by far you make the interviews different and personal like a conversation for a change. My question though who is currently the longest hitter on tour, Bubba?

Michael Collins
  (3:22 PM)

Thanks Rob, I appreciate it. As far as your question goes, yeah Bubba is the longest but Robert Garrigus is usually trying to give him a run for the title year in and year out.

Oliver (Bentonville)

How much is experience going to play this week? Will a veteran like Furyk have the advantage of having been through this torture so many times, or would you lean toward a youngster playing loose with nothing to lose?

Michael Collins
  (3:23 PM)

I'll take experience over inexperience at the US Open 100 out of 100 times.

Shawn (Hellabama)

How many courses have you played that you caddied on on the PGA and Nationwide Tours (not necisarily the week of the tourneys.)

Michael Collins
  (3:23 PM)

Probably 20 or so.

Steve (Twin Cities)

I think Olympic is a good fit for Jim Furyk. What to you think?

Michael Collins
  (3:25 PM)

Yes, but his putting is so sporadic right now. That's why I like Zach Johnson a little more.

Greg (Arkansas)

Go with me on this one with my darkhorse. Someone playing really well of late. Someone who is well up on the money list and in FedEx points. Someone who grew up playing California courses. Someone who isn't long but hits it straight on a course where that really matters. Someone named Spencer Levin.

Michael Collins
  (3:25 PM)

I like it except for one thing, he's gonna be exhausted physically and mentally coming into the week.

Ed (Long Island)

Who has more...Phil # of putts in round 1, LeBron James points game 1?

Michael Collins
  (3:26 PM)

What if we make the over/under 30 for both of them?!

Tom (L.A.)

With the Tiger/Phil/Bubba grouping, do you think the safest place for the fans to stand will be in the fairway?

Michael Collins
  (3:27 PM)

Bubba said (it didn't make the video) they should give out helmets for anyone following that group Thursday and Friday!!

Ed (Long Island)

How is the cut line established for this week?

Michael Collins
  (3:28 PM)

Top 60 and ties and this year NO 10 shot rule. First time they're doing that.

Darryl (Jr.)

Any chance any golfer makes it to double digits under par this week?

Michael Collins
  (3:28 PM)

NO CHANCE!!

Tim (SF)

The only water to be concerned about, is the the water they aren't putting on the greens! 14 on the stimp, coming up. LOL

Shoshana (Boston)

Reading Harig's article, Tiger was suggesting starting on 9 in the morning was an advantage (over 1), and that everyone should have to go off of 1. Agree, Disagree?

Michael Collins
  (3:31 PM)

Disagree. Everyone is gonna get to start on 9 and as long as the wind isn't blowing 20mph in the afternoon it won't affect half the field.

Darryl (Jr.)

Are phones going to be an issue this week?

Michael Collins
  (3:32 PM)

No, because phones will NOT be allowed on the course. This is a USGA event so the cell phone policy is different than the PGA Tour's.

Stephan (EDH)

I've heard the USGA has set up the first six holes as the hardest opening ever. What does that do to a player mentally to face that right out of the gate? And is it an advantage to start on the back nine on Thursday?

Michael Collins
  (3:33 PM)

Don't think so because if you start on 9 on Friday you're still gonna have to play 1-6, and maybe now think you have to make a birdie on one of them to make the cut!

Bryant (Little Rock)

I keep reading that split tees this week are Nos. 1 and 9. Is that right? They're starting on 9 and not 10?

Michael Collins
  (3:35 PM)

Yep, for "traffic" reasons it makes more sense to start on 9 instead of ten. That way golfers and caddies aren't having to walk out to 10 and disrupt play.

Tom (L.A.)

Probably not that important compared to the overall picture, but what chance do you give to Casey Martin making the cut?

Michael Collins
  (3:37 PM)

Extremely slim. He just hasn't played enough rounds although I'd love to see him make the weekend, I doubt he will.

Shoshana (Boston)

Do think iron play into the greens will be a bigger factor, or will guys be able to recover if they miss a green?

Michael Collins
  (3:38 PM)

Miss the green in the right spot and you have a chance to save par, but only a slim chance. Don't miss the green would be the best plan!

Had Solo (San Francisco)

Ever played at Presidio in SF? I feel like it is an underrated track.

Michael Collins
  (3:40 PM)

Never played it but friends who have say it is all that and a bag of Doritos!

Jeff (Hoboken, NJ)

Is the toughest part of Olympic negotiating from from tee to green, or when you get on the green and need to make a putt?

Michael Collins
  (3:41 PM)

Tee to green is the toughest part but the greens have very subtle breaks in them that will be hard to see. Still, getting on the green in regulation will be the tough part

Jeff (Hoboken, NJ)

What would a 10 handicap shoot at Olympic under tournament conditions?

Michael Collins
  (3:42 PM)

about 115 from the championship tees.

Andrew (Chattanooga)

Hey Michael I am a huge golf fan, especially when Tiger is playing. I am even going as far as too take off thursday and friday to watch the Open. Since I am doing this I was just wondering on how you think Tiger will fare this week and how the course sets up for his game.

Michael Collins
  (3:45 PM)

If he plays like he did at Memorial he's gonna be a major factor come Sunday afternoon. Alot is gonna depend on how he hits it off the tee and how he putts.

Tim (SF)

I'll answer that as I played with a 10HDCP there 10 days ago. And he was the member. He shot 108.

Michael Collins
  (3:46 PM)

And that was a member that new and had played the course before.

Tim (SF)

Ryo is gonna have local man Steve Molinelli looping for him this week. Is there any language barrier there? And it's fair to say that prolly 1/3rd the field hasn't ever played OClub. You think more pros would (could?) benefit from local caddies?

Michael Collins
  (3:48 PM)

Mo is not just a local man. He's the club champion here at Olympic and has won some events locally. No bad language barrier as far as golf goes but I doubt they'll be talking tv and movies between shots.

CARLOS (Boston)

Can Phil win a U.S open?

Michael Collins
  (3:49 PM)

Can he? Yes. Will he... I'll let you know Sunday afternoon! haha

Johnny Vegas (The Sportsbook)

Longshots baby. Give me some.

Andrew (Chattanooga)

What do you personally think is going to be the toughest hole this week, the one that will make or break the tournament?

Michael Collins
  (3:50 PM)

It won't be ranked as the toughest but the tourney will be won or lost on 17. Mark my words!

Jeremy (Norfolk)

What is the USGA planning for green speeds for the tourny?

Michael Collins
  (3:50 PM)

anywhere between 12 1/2 and 14

Pam (Palm Beach)

Does the O favor a high ball hitter into the greens, a la Woods or Ogilvy? especially Woods who can land it softly on the greens.

Michael Collins
  (3:51 PM)

absolutely, high and soft on super firm greens always has an advantage

Rickie Fowler (Cali)

Am I going to keep up my great play from the past several weeks, or did that final round at Memorial screw me up?

Michael Collins
  (3:51 PM)

your great play continues

T. Brady (Cali)

Oosthuizen baby!

Michael Collins
  (3:52 PM)

could be considered a sleeping darkhorse of the field.

Hank Haney (Texas)

Shhhhh. Luke Donald wins it.

Nick (Atlanta)

Isn't the problem with Olympic the sloping fairways that make "good" drives go in the rough because of the severe slope?

Michael Collins
  (3:53 PM)

Yep, and they slope away from the doglegs which makes them even harder to hold.

Randall (Washington, DC)

Do you think that Tiger feels more or less pressure to perform well because of the success he had at the Memorial plus the Thursday and Friday pairing he is in?!

Michael Collins
  (3:55 PM)

I think he feels like he should win no matter who he's paired with. I think he thinks it sweeter to beat Phil head to head when they're in the same group but if he doesn't win, then beating Phil means nothing to him.

Nick (Atlanta)

Higher winning score the O or Kiawah in August?

Michael Collins
  (3:56 PM)

Definitely higher score here... UNLESS the wind blows 25mph or more everyday in Kiawah.

T . WOODS (cali)

I follow you in twiter.

Michael Collins
  (3:56 PM)

no you don't, and I'm hurt about that... NOT!! HAHA

Leo (Philadelphia)

Will we see Tiger hitting a lot of 3 woods off of the tee?

Michael Collins
  (3:57 PM)

Yes, and irons too. His 3 iron is bent to the loft of a 2 iron so he can hit a few stingers with it.

Carl Spackler (Caddyshack)

USGA set ups for Opens Fair or Foul in your opinion?

Michael Collins
  (3:58 PM)

95% fair, but like John Daly told me, there's always one hole that gets away from them at some point during the tournament. This year it may be the 17th.

Chelle (UK)

hey Mike, who's your top dark horse for the open?

Michael Collins
  (3:59 PM)

Ryo Ishikawa. His caddy was on Colt Knost's bag for the '07 amateur when he won.

Michael Collins
  (4:02 PM)

Wow, that was fast. But don't worry, I'll be on from start to finish everyday starting Thursday morning! Check out GolfCast this week and we can talk all day about what's going on! In the meantime hit me on twitter @ESPNCaddie or email me ESPNCaddie@gmail.comThanks again for the fun fast hour!!MC