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April 22, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Michael Collins

Michael Collins
  (3:00 PM)

It's the fastest hour in golf! Welcome to all new and old friends. You know how it works... Can I just tell you how tired I am of all the knuckleheads out there who try and convince people if Tiger's not playing it ain't worth watching. With that finish last week if they missed it... good riddance. Can you believe that was G Mac's first PGA Tour win (The US Open is not a tour run event)?!

Bill (CT)

I'm going to Merion for the U.S. Open! Who am I going to see win?

Michael Collins
  (3:00 PM)

Been saying it for a while... TW will win this US Open

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Where is the hottest PGA Tour event held at each year?

Michael Collins
  (3:02 PM)

I'd have to say year after year, Memphis is ALWAYS sweltering.

pj (midlo)

As a caddy, how long does it take you to really understand and know a course? also which players tend to blame caddies more for their performances or misses etc or inability to accurately forecast the direction and timing of wind gusts!!!

Michael Collins
  (3:04 PM)

I can usually figure out a course in a day, two max depending on the golfer I'm caddying for. There aren't a ton of guys that blame their caddies for bad shots. But in the heat of the moment if guy hits a bad shot and rips into his caddie, we know it's not really at us, it's just his need to vent. And that's fine.

Chris (Chicago)

MC - thanks for this as usual! When is the next time we will see Tiger, Rory, Phil...

Michael Collins
  (3:06 PM)

They'll be at Wells Fargo next week in Charlotte as far as I know.

Tom (Verona, WI)

We love talking about slow play. What's the deal with officials giving warnings for bad times? It's at the discretion of the official? A player who is on the clock and gets a bad time should get a penalty.

Michael Collins
  (3:08 PM)

Well on the PGA Tour they get fined, it's just never made public. That why at the majors when I guy gets a stroke it's big news because it can be so costly, but I wanna see the tour start giving strokes. Not just the Masters to a 14 year old amateur.

David Stanford (Charlotte, NC)

With Adam Scott winning last week and Webb being in contention this week would you say the debate about the anchore vs non-anchored putters might resurface again? It seems I see a lot of belly-putters on the leaderboards lately and I dont think many golfers are satisfied with the decision by the PGA/USGA.

Michael Collins
  (3:11 PM)

Well the debate period is over now we just are waiting for the decision, but see Adam miss so many putts on the front nine and Webb miss two at the end proves that the "nerves" argument is bogus and lame. Still I think they're mind was made up before the discussion period started and that's a shame.

Paul (U of Portland)

Michael, your boy Streels is really having a good year. When you were caddying for him did you ever get grouped with Tiger and Stevie? And what was it like watching Tiger from close up?

Michael Collins
  (3:13 PM)

It's always fun to see Tiger close up. But even better to see Streels winning and playing so well. Best I've seen Tiger up close was caddying for Daniel Chopra at the US Open at Shinnecock on a Saturday when Tiger holed out for eagle on the 18th. The roar was unforgettable.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Over/under two majors for Tiger after watching his performance in the Masters, and how one bad break, arguably cost him the tournament?

Michael Collins
  (3:14 PM)

Tiger's play on the weekends at majors had so many question marks, even if he made birdie at 15 on Friday we still just will never know. That being said I still think he breaks Jack's record.

Paul (U of Portland)

MC i've always wondered this, but why do you have two twitters? haha

Michael Collins
  (3:16 PM)

because I didn't realize you could just change your twitter name when I got hired by ESPN. Thought it was like email. Now I have people that don't follow both and yell at me when I forget to post on one. Dumb move by me, I know.

Keith H (Seattle)

Pretty entertaining yesterday at Harbor Town in a US Open/sick humor kind of way. I thought CBS did a very good job of explaining the hazards involved on the greens, picking clubs, etc. How did high winds (20-30 or so) make things more difficult for the caddies?

Michael Collins
  (3:20 PM)

It's the angle of the wind that always makes it so difficult. If it was straight in or down that'd be easy. But when it's cross quartering and your player isn't hitting it pure, it's terrifying. Makes club selection crazy. That's why you heard Paul and Webb talking so much over club choice. Showed good teamwork.

Brint (Wichita)

Michael, how often do you get to play?

Michael Collins
  (3:20 PM)

try to play 2-3 times a week when I'm home now. On the road... rarely.

Tom (Verona, WI)

Hope you are getting over not winning the Masters media lottery. Do other majors provide a chance for you to play?

Michael Collins
  (3:21 PM)

Still stings, but most major's have a media day where you can play the course. Have never gotten to though because of my schedule.

Woody (Washington, DC)

European Tour campaigner Graeme McDowell won in bad weather at Harbor Town yesterday. Former longtime European Tour players Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera adjusted best to how the inclement weather affected Augusta National on Sunday two weeks ago. Do European Tour players have an advantage over their PGA Tour counterparts in cold, wet, windy weather? Why or why not?

Michael Collins
  (3:23 PM)

I'd say yes because they play in worse conditions than the pga tour on a week to week basis and because they play on typically slower greens they can play in windier conditions.

Nemes (P-Town)

As a caddy, would you be for allowing GPS/rangefinder devices on Tour, especially to speed up pace of play?

Michael Collins
  (3:24 PM)

Earlier this year at the Waste Management I asked a bunch of pros if lasers would speed up play. Of the 20 guys I asked, only one said it would speed up play.

Sal (Philadelphia)

Whats your gut telling you is gonna happen with the proposed anchor ban?

Michael Collins
  (3:26 PM)

That they are going to ban anchoring. And it bothers me to say that because we will lose recreational golfers which is not what the game needs. Even ten golfers walking away is too many.

Nick (Canada)

I think Harbour town showed that a smaller test can be a real challenging major venue just like a long drive contest course.

Michael Collins
  (3:28 PM)

Courses like Harbour Town and Riviera prove that longer is not better and more challenging.

Eric (Austin, TX)

How much fun did you have filming Bubba's adventure tot he local muni?

Michael Collins
  (3:29 PM)

It was awesome. Can't wait to film some more with Bubba in other situations that we can make people laugh and freak out.

nvotgolf (Tulsa, OK)

This is twice this year that Tiger has been penalized for a bad or illegal drop. Do you think next time he drops he calls in a rules official?

Michael Collins
  (3:30 PM)

you know those guys do get PAID to be there... ;) why not give em something to do while they're there.

Tom (Verona, WI)

You're a "senior" golf analyst. Farrell Evans is a "senior" golf writer. Are there no "junior" golf people?

Michael Collins
  (3:31 PM)

yes but they must stay in the basement until they are considered "senior". lol

Chris (Chicago)

What kind of security is in place to prevent something catastrophic at a golf event? I always wonder if there are some crazies 2 feet from a golfer when they get wild off the tee...

Michael Collins
  (3:33 PM)

Such a scary thought because spectators are allowed to get so close to us on the course, almost like Nascar. But there are teams of security that are in place weeks before an events to assess how to keep everyone safe. And they to an amazing job at it too. You'd never know or believe how many plain clothes are at a tournament

Mother Earth (Your Home Planet)

Are you planting any trees for Earth Day?

Michael Collins
  (3:34 PM)

Three. One for each of my sons.

Eric (Austin)

MC, as a Caddie, I am interested to know your thoughts about Tiger's decision not to drop in the drop area on 15 at Augusta. I know that he cited that it was a bit damp, and I know this is the ultra-perfectionist, but certainly Tiger can catch clean a pitch from 50 yards in damp soil.

Michael Collins
  (3:36 PM)

The problem is controlling the spin from that close to the hole. And the angle was not a good one either. Even for Tiger a full shot is the best option when you can chose what to do.

Keith H (Seattle)

This is starting to get worriesome: Since Patriots Day bombing we haven't heard from Shoshana in Boston.

Michael Collins
  (3:37 PM)

Actually she was in the chat this past Friday but because someone has been impersonating her I have her using an alias. Trust me, I love her insight, knowledge and love of the game.

Steve B. (United Kingdom (From the US))

Hey MC... Off to play St. Andrews Old and Kingsbarns tomorrow for the first time. Any sage advise for my visit?

Michael Collins
  (3:39 PM)

LISTEN TO YOUR CADDIE!!!! And take as many pictures as you can without throwing off you game. Also, know i am SO jealous of you right now!! ;)

Nick (Canada)

If Merion plays firm and fast what kind of score are we going to see. I have heard that since it will play so short we are going to be seeing a lot of tucked pins.

Michael Collins
  (3:39 PM)

It's the US Open, expect anything around even par to be in the top 5

Phil (Chicago)

You always go out on a limb - Tiger Woods will every major. How has that been working out for you?

Michael Collins
  (3:40 PM)

You don't follow me very closely.

Nemes (P-Town)

Get the yardage, gauge the wind, pick a club, and hit it. Sometimes, it appears the pros aren't playing ready golf when it's their turn to act. I think that behavior trickles down to the youngsters like Guan.

Michael Collins
  (3:41 PM)

It's not just that. Have you been to a college tournament lately? They can be 6 hour horror walks. Guys just get into that pace because they have to and then can't get out.

Tom (Verona, WI)

Tianlang Guan's caddie for the Masters was Brian Tam, a regular caddie at Augusta National. Who will be carrying his bag in New Orleans?

Michael Collins
  (3:42 PM)

No clue. But will find out and post on Twitter

Bill (Tacoma)

Who are the guys you consider a threat to grab their first major this year? (lets exclude Lee, Luke and Sergio)

Michael Collins
  (3:43 PM)

It's gonna be a guy like Streelman. He strikes me as the guy coming into it this year.

seak (lockdown)

I miss Shoshana. Now I won't know which sage comments are hers. What is the history behind the wicker baskets at Merion?

Michael Collins
  (3:45 PM)

She's doing just fine. The wicker baskets came as an inspiration the course designer had watching what guys watching over flocks of animals used to keep their lunches in so the animals couldn't eat them. Also they gave no indication of wind which is a great thing on a course like Merion.

B (Cleveland)

Why is Ryan Moore getting so fat? He's my favorite player but is frustrating to root for

Michael Collins
  (3:47 PM)

I'm in NO shape to comment on anyone being or getting fat! haha

kfife (south dakota)

Who is your favorite player on the tour today?

Michael Collins
  (3:48 PM)

Honestly don't have one guy. Too many friends to say one guy is my favorite.

B (Cleveland)

MC, why do you think Tiger will do especially well at Merion?

Michael Collins
  (3:48 PM)

Because he won't be able to hit driver. He'll have to hit the controlled stinger, which is how he won a major across the pond once.

DB (Panama)

You going to New Orleans this weekend? Zurich Classic and Jazz Fest, can't get much better! Any predictions?

Michael Collins
  (3:50 PM)

I might try to sneak there but I'm not scheduled to cover it like I thought I'd be. At least I know this week I'll be skinnier since I'm missing out on ALL that amazing food.

Shosheak (the couch)

to be fair webb and paul chat a lot and take their fair bit of time even without wind :)

Michael Collins
  (3:50 PM)

True

Andrew (SLC)

How about that playoff in Spain? I recall Tiger and Furyk having a 7 hole playoff at Firestone in '01. Any other epic playoffs (5+ holes) you can remember?

Michael Collins
  (3:51 PM)

The only other battle like that I can remember was when Tiger and Ernie went toe to toe in Maui but I don't think it went even 5 holes.

kfife (south dakota)

MC, what event is more fun to be at 1 of the 4 majors or The Ryder Cup?

Michael Collins
  (3:53 PM)

MAN!! That's not even a fair question because the Ryder Cup isn't a tournament. But I'd say Ryder Cup electricity is the top on that first tee... That move that Bubba and Poulter did getting the crowd jacked still gives me goosebumps thinking about it. BUT the Masters is a CLOSE second

B (Cleveland)

just one more follow up on Merion...i read that the yardage is 6800something yards. Is that all the real estate they have there or will it play a little longer than that?

Michael Collins
  (3:54 PM)

That's the real estate they have. It's gonna be a TIGHT squeeze in there but that's what's gonna make it so great.

seak (the couch)

tesori and webb seem to make quite a team. was there ever a time you regretted NOT interrupting a player and saying your piece? for example, something went wrong that you could've avoided had you spoken up and opened your mouth? :)

Michael Collins
  (3:55 PM)

more than once. But hindsight... we all wonder what if after the fact in times like that.

kfife (south dakota)

What event is the most fun non major stop on the tour?

Michael Collins
  (3:56 PM)

Waste Management in Scottsdale. Easy.

john (LA)

mc, any coments on camilo villegas life? how is he doing this year? getting his card back? what you think?

Michael Collins
  (3:57 PM)

yeah, I think he's finally found a comfort level again with the clubs and golf ball where he's gonna be ok. I was really nervous for him for bit but I think he's turned the corner for good, and in a good way.

John (Dener)

Round is a shape. As always, thanks for making Mondays better with your chats. We appreciate and look forward to it.

Tom (Verona, WI)

Thanks for chat! Will watch your Twitter...

shosheak (the couch)

Do you like the path Guan seems to be (trying) to take and competing in more pga tour events?

Michael Collins
  (3:59 PM)

I think it's good he's gonna play this week but then I want him to go back to amateur golf and win a bunch there before trying to go pro full time. 14 years old and in 8th grade. He's got PLENTY of time to get out here. Don't rush so you can stay for a while.

seak (the couch)

Re: Guan and Beau...anyone else recall Ty Tryon? Learn from history...these kids have plenty of time, no rush :)

Michael Collins
  (4:01 PM)

Told ya it would go fast!! No slow play here in this chat room!Thanks again everyone.Same bat time, same bat channel.... Friday!@ESPNCaddie on TwitterESPNCaddie@gmail.com is the email addressHave a great week everyone!MC