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

Michael Collins
  (3:00 PM)

It's the fastest hour in golf! Tiger has a horrific weekend at Memorial, you still love him as much for the US Open as before? Lee Janzen got DQ'd at the US Open qualifier for wearing metal spikes, he had already played 18 holes, fair?

Sun Shine (Really, Really Wet S. Flori-duh all week)

Hello MC: Before the barrage from the Tiger jumping off the bandwagon people, this is directely from PGAT Backstory: "Consider this: Woods is 1st in scoring, 5th in putting, 5th in birdie average, 38th in GIR and 1st in the all-around ranking. He?s also still the considerable favorite to win the U.S. Open, and he should be. The point is, Woods? struggles at Muirfield Village ( he wasn?t the only one, by the way) shouldn?t sway opinion all that much, the same way it didn?t when Woods was winning at about the same clip from 1999-2009."

Joel F (Florida)

Terrible prediction going with Tiger last week!!! Just had to mention it!

Shawn (Toronto)

Hey Mike! Should Tiger fans be worried, or will he be able to move on to the next one ok?

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Do you think the horrific perfORmance over the weekend is good, bad, or irrelevant for Tiger heading into the U.S. Open?

KATS (MOOCH)

you still picking Tiger at Merion?

Michael Collins
  (3:03 PM)

I pose those questions to all of you as well... I said it does matter BUT not as much as you think. If he gets another putting lesson from Steve Stricker he's still hitting the ball as good as ever.

Curtis C (Oregon)

For as awful as tiger was last week he was actually pretty good off the tee. I think it makes it more likely he plays well at Merion. Also his focus seemed to be elsewhere.

Patrick (Phillly, PA)

Is Matt Kuchar now the favorite, or least in the top-three, favorites at Merion?

Michael Collins
  (3:04 PM)

Definitely in the top 3

Paul (Illinois)

How many times were you on the bag for a US Open sectional qualifier? Ever on the bag at a regional qualifier where your pro was paired with one of those guys that claims he is a 2 handicap but ends up shooting 102?

Michael Collins
  (3:05 PM)

never did a regional qualifier, but did four US Open sectionals, I'm batting .500

DB (Panama)

Does Luke have a shot next week with the shorter course?

pat (chicago,il)

you think after playing so poorly last week at memorial, does this make Tiger practice a bit harder and focus more for the US Open?

Michael Collins
  (3:06 PM)

If he can find fairways off the tee. But if he is missing fairways... no chance

Michael Collins
  (3:07 PM)

I don't see Tiger practicing harder, but I think he knows what parts of his game need tweaking the most.

Tom (Verona, WI)

Over/under on the number of times in the next 10 days that people ask you if Tiger will win the US Open? 150?

Michael Collins
  (3:07 PM)

Over 200

Andrew (WI)

For a tournament in which avoiding big numbers is a very big deal, he sure made a lot of big numbers at Muirfield. If he repeats that trend, it won't matter how well he's striking the ball on the other 66 or so holes.

CP (Charlotte)

Len Mattiace got to play the sectional qualifier as an alternate. With multiple alternates from multiple local qualifying sites, how does the USGA determine the order of alternates that would replace players who withdraw from the sectional qualifier?

Michael Collins
  (3:10 PM)

When guys sign up for sectionals (or make thru regionals) they're assigned as are the alternates.

Luke (NJ)

Which golfer that has to qualify via Sectionals could make a run at Merion?

Michael Collins
  (3:11 PM)

Won't know that til all the sites have got their qualifiers

john (oklahoma)

Since we all know a anchor putter is going to win the open....who do you pick out of that bunch?

Michael Collins
  (3:11 PM)

Adam Scott

Michael H (OK)

I think Graeme McDowell is the favorite for Merion...but that's just me. Perfect US Open type player on a course that demands accuracy.

Mike (Pennsylvania)

How can an extreme amateur, like myself, make it into the us open?

Michael Collins
  (3:13 PM)

Define extreme? And there is a qualifying process that's "Open" to anyone.

Michael H (OK)

I was surprised Kyle Stanley went to sectional qualifying today. He moved to #59 in the world and probably would've stayed in the top 60 after next week...guess he didn't want to risk it.

Michael Collins
  (3:13 PM)

Smart move I think.

Paul (Illinois)

Is your handicap low enough to play in a regional US Open qualifier? Ever considered trying to get good enough to get through to a sectional qualifier? With all of the good college players in regionals it is pretty tough for anyone with a full time job to compete with the youngsters who live on the range all summer!

Michael Collins
  (3:14 PM)

I know WAY to many great golfers who try and fail miserably at trying to go thru qualifying. My hcp isn't low enough as it were, but even if I was a 1 I wouldn't do it.

Shosheak (Overstuffed in Nola airport)

Think the key to merion will be gir & gir out of the rough. So look at who on pga tour does well at that stuff for favorites. But these guys are good, any of the can have a good week

Aaron (Wisco)

I know TW gives the standard" Im trying to win every tourney"...BUT do you think once he knew he waqs out of contention he was mentally playing merion in his heaad, ie hitting certain shots needed at merion but not necessarly effective at memorial?

Michael Collins
  (3:16 PM)

I don't think he's mentally playing Merion but I do think he's working on shots he'll need to hit there.

JJ (Minneapolis)

Is Phil Mickelson still relevant?

Michael Collins
  (3:18 PM)

We'll find out this week in Memphis. If he plays well there he'll be a factor at the US Open. But I don't have high hopes.

Mike (Pennsylvania)

Well this is my first year playing golf on a steady basis. I've played sparingly over a couple of years. I'm 24. Plan to try and qualify in a couple of years as my game will progress. Hopefully by the time I'm 28-29 I will be in the prime of my career and be shooting under par rounds. Bringing the name of Mike to the top of the golf world. You can caddy for me. Espn will have a new Mike and Mike to talk about.

Michael Collins
  (3:20 PM)

It's a great dream and goal. You make it, I'll caddy.

Doug (GA)

How the !@$% do you get the Dairy Queen for wearing metal spikes? There is no rule in golf prohibiting them. It's club policy and that's usually waived for a PGA/USGA/R&A event.

Michael Collins
  (3:21 PM)

And how/why would they let a former US Open Champion play the first 18 holes? You telling me nobody said anything or had a set of softspikes they could've changed out for Lee?! Something is fishy.

Chris (Raleigh )

Michael - What grips do your recommend?

Michael Collins
  (3:24 PM)

I like either Black Widow, Golf Pride, or Winn. But grips are like putters... you have to go feel them your self because they as so varied.

Bill (CT)

Who's winning at Merion?

RAYGORDON REID ( JACKSONVILLE FLORIDA 32207)

question to michael collins AT 2.45 PM WHO WINS THE USopen

Michael Collins
  (3:25 PM)

Tiger

Robb (Colorado)

MC, who is your sleeper pick at Merion? There is always a guy or two that comes from the pack and hangs around until late Sunday and then fades. My guess is Chappell.

Michael Collins
  (3:26 PM)

Ask me next week when I know everyone who's in the field and see how the course weather is gonna shape up.

Tom (Verona, WI)

Do caddies receive notices such as the one about metal spikes not being allowed at the US Open qualifier?

Michael Collins
  (3:26 PM)

No, but there are always local rules sheets at the tee and Janzen said he was emailed the local rules sheet.

Tim (SF)

Wassup Lil Hootie - Dustin Johnson grounds his club in a sand pile that looked more like worn turf with a banana peel and an old soda cup and he loses the PGA...Lee Janzen get's DQ'd for metal spikes at a US Open qualifier because he didnt read his email. Just cuz the rule may or may not be 'reasonable', it's still a rule. Makes you wonder though about how many rules get unintentionally broken that go unnoticed though?

Michael Collins
  (3:28 PM)

Makes you wonder.

john (oklahoma)

My home course holds a qualifier and on the 2nd tee a guy lined up behind the tee marker and hit it square to come back and hit him in jewels....poor guy tried to finish the hole but couldn't.....your best story?

Michael Collins
  (3:31 PM)

Nothing that funny but my first time caddying a qualifier my player spiked me right after I had changed shoes for the second 18 holes. Blew out my airbag and sneaker made a fart noise for the whole 18 holes and we still made it thru. I still give the player crap about never replacing my shoes and he was wearing metal spikes!

Jake (Greenville, SC)

Who you like tonight, Heat or Pacers?

Michael Collins
  (3:31 PM)

Heat. Hibbert won't be himself and that's a shame but it's his own fault.

Doug (GA)

As someone who has played in more than one sectional qualifier, I can attest- this is golf's longest, hardest day (and I made the Open back in the 90s). The Open is a cakewalk compared to today.

Shosheak (Nola airport)

It was in an email & on sign up sheets. Lee didn't read. Guessing nobody was really looking at his shoes that carefully

Michael Collins
  (3:32 PM)

No one HEARD them walking to the range or tee?

Steve Williams (Adam Scott's bag)

Will Merion be the biggest win of my career, excluding this year's Master's?

Michael Collins
  (3:34 PM)

HAHA!! Master's with Adam Scott was your biggest win and the fact that Adam gave you so much credit... caddies dream of a boss that does that.

Jack (Ocean City, NJ)

If playing firm and fast, what do you think the winning score is at Merion?

Michael Collins
  (3:35 PM)

-4 or under

timothy Gallant (Scotland)

Used to live close to Woodmont...seems like the type of place where they take themselves too seriously - JMHO

Tom (L.A.)

Heh, MC, you've been saying "Tiger" for like 5 months now and people keep asking you who's going to win the U.S. Open. I think you need to start changing it up. Next time, say something like "Djokovic". Then "Slater". It could be a game.

Michael Collins
  (3:37 PM)

Been say Tiger and this US Open since last year. But the thought of answering Lebron next time made me really laugh good.Thanks

JD (CT)

If Schwartzel could putt, he'd have ___ more wins by now.

Michael Collins
  (3:37 PM)

3

Tim (SF)

OK...not sure you're gonna touch this one, but how Soap Opera is the Rory Sabbatini divorce situation? Online Days of our lives huh? Crazy...

Michael Collins
  (3:40 PM)

For those of us that really follow golf closely, it's the opposite way that Tiger and his ex did it. Just doesn't seem ok to rip a former spouse or parent in public. Even though I can understand the hurt.

Tim (SF)

Scott Stallings...clearly has game (2 wins), and also seems to be pretty binary. Shows up or MCs (no offense to your initials of course). You think Stallings can become a regular top player on tour?

Michael Collins
  (3:42 PM)

I do think Stallings is a guy we're going to hear from a bunch more on tour and even in majors in years to come. And my initials stand for Making Cash! When I caddy, my players don't miss cuts.

Shosheak (Nola airport)

Would you advise playing Memphis before us open? Seems like the heat might take a lot out of a guy

Michael Collins
  (3:43 PM)

NO WAY I'd play Memphis the week before the US Open. HEAT and weather delays will completely exhaust you and throw off your rhythm.

John (Virginia)

Does it bother Tiger more to lose by 20 strokes or 1?

Michael Collins
  (3:44 PM)

"Losing sucks" but the closer you are the more it stings because you know where you made the mistake that cost you the tournament

Keith H (Seattle)

RAYGORDONREID?! You've been missing in action! Last we saw you was last year in an Ed Hinton chat. Welcome back...

Aaron (Wisco)

TW seams to struggle with the speed of the greens at memorial and masters. I dont understand how a guy who won 14 majors and 78 wins can't adjust on the fly to green speeds.

Tim (SF)

lemme see if I got this right...Tiger's last 5 tourneys are T65, 1st, 1st, 4th, & 1st. Pretty sure he's the US Open chalk.

Tim (SF)

any particular guys you're rootin today at US Open Quals? (friends, acquaintances, good stories etc... And David Duval doesn't count because we're all rootin for him)

Michael Collins
  (3:46 PM)

David Hearn

Bud (Laramie, WY)

In your opinion who is currently the best Canadian golfer on tour?

Michael Collins
  (3:47 PM)

That last answer was for this question. Previous question answer: Too many friends trying to qualify for me to say I'm rooting for one guy more than another.

Pete (Spokane)

Are you better off trying to qualify for the Open at a location that has few PGA pros but only one qualifying spot available, or a place like Columbus that has 15 spots available but littered with pros?

Michael Collins
  (3:48 PM)

Don't play where the pros play. Especially if you're an amateur or a PGA Pro (teacher) your odds are better the less pros there are to play against.

shosh (terminal 2 lobby)

Any reason for optimism on Rory after his recent run? Can he contend at Merion?

Michael Collins
  (3:49 PM)

NO CHANCE

Paul (Illinois)

Are the caddy hospitality area(s) at a US Open better than a typical PGA Tour event? Would there be a difference between a private club like Merion compared to public venues like Bethpage and Torrey Pines?I would think a private club would be swankier but it makes me think of the line "He's not a member Grandma - he's a caddie"...

Michael Collins
  (3:50 PM)

Last US Open I caddied was Shinnecock, the tent there had free massages for us. Set up is pretty sweet but nowadays most tournaments have a really nice set up for caddies.

Tom (Verona, WI)

Another tournament this week for Guan Tianlang...what the what?

Michael Collins
  (3:51 PM)

I hoep no more tournament directors give him anymore sponsors invitations.

MB (MD)

I hear people get upset about qualifiers getting into the open and taking spots away from pro's, I think its great that anyone with the right handicap can try and qualify and play, that is part of the beauty of the US Open, what is your opinion?

Michael Collins
  (3:52 PM)

It's not a Cinderella Story if Cinderella can't even try and qualify. I love the fact that anyone can take a shot at it. SO many great stories and moments come from qualifying.

MB (MD)

Here is my opinion of Rory so far in his career, he is the new Mickelson. He will show up and you have no clue what he will do, but when he is playing well he will win but more in bunches then Phil did. I don't think we will see another Tiger for a while as that person needs that special singular drive to be the best...agree?

Michael Collins
  (3:53 PM)

Starting to lean that way, BUT Rory is still REALLY early in his career. I say wait three more years before we find out exactly what kind of player he's gonna be for a career.

Caroline W. (Paris, France)

Lay off my Rors! We had a long weekend gallivanting around Europe for the French Open, the Monaco Grand Prix, and finally the Champions League final. All that travel takes a lot out of him!

Tom (Verona, WI)

When you caddie do you read the local rules sheet to help keep your player from being DQ'd?

Michael Collins
  (3:55 PM)

It has always been part of my routine in the morning when I fold the pin sheet.

Shosheak (Nola airport)

Speaking of personal problems, that was an interesting tweet from Butch. You heard anything? I was expecting a good hr from Nick

Michael Collins
  (3:57 PM)

Had a text conversation with a caddy about it. That was WAY outta line, Butch is like a father to Nick so when that tweet went out my jaw dropped. Won't be surprised if there's some backlash to it.

Nick (Atlanta)

If caddies amenities are so great, then why do caddies on twitter complain about how they are treated? Isn't Robert Garrigus trying to do something to give caddies better treatment? What gives?

Michael Collins
  (3:58 PM)

There are still a few tournaments that treat pro caddies as lower class. Most are great but I'm glad my brothers aren't afraid to take tournaments to task if they aren't treated well.

Ken (VA)

DD is about six shots off the pace with nine holes to go to get a spot. Not going to happen. Bummer. Let's see how he does in Memphis on Thursday.

Michael Collins
  (3:59 PM)

Like I said Monday, I just want him to get a top ten and that will get him in to Travelers Championship and he can build from there.

Michael H (OK)

Sabbatini and Crane are both on the verge of qualifying for the US Open today. How about pairing them together on Days 1 &2?

Michael Collins
  (4:00 PM)

That would not be cool or funny.

Michael Collins
  (4:00 PM)

ok maybe amusing for the 1st round.

Michael Collins
  (4:01 PM)

Told you it would go too fast!! Not to worry, meet me right back here on Friday at the same time!Until then... @ESPNCaddie on twitter and ESPNCaddie@gmail.com is my email.Have a great week everyone!MC