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September 13, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Michael Collins

Michael Collins
  (3:00 PM)

Welcome everyone. It's the fastest hour in golf! Rory is crashing and burning, Sneds is charging and Jordan Spieth has decided that ROY just isn't enough, he's thinking of making a run at the FedEx Cup $10 million. I wanna know: which player you're gonna miss having in Atlanta next week? Has the FedEx Cup Playoffs hooked you yet? Why/Why not?

Joel (Niagara Falls) [via mobile]

Hello Mr. Collins, Many of expected to see Rory McIlroy become, if not the new face of golf, at least a challenger to Tiger. But in 2013, in fifteen major measurable categories, he ranked in the top-twenty in only three; driving distance, birdie average, and par break percentage. Also, in the majors, his finishes were; T25th, T14th, M/Cut, T8th, and didn't win a tournament in sixteen appearances. What's your assessment of Rory's potential for becoming one of the greats of golf, either on the Tiger, Jack, Palmer, Hogan level, or along with Watson, Player, Phil, and the like ? Thank you for your time.

Michael Collins
  (3:02 PM)

I think if he's gonna be like any of the greats, he'll be similar to Palmer or Mickelson. Loved by the fans but always mentioned in the "what if" conversations. Rory is still trying to find balance between work and life. This was a down year with all that's going on in his life, that being said... $1.75 million in a down year ain't bad without a win.

Chris (Chicago)

Hey MC - The PGA Tour needs to make a visit annually to Chicago - why not rotate the BMW to Chicago area courses only? We have the best fans in sports and sell out EVERY golf event hosted here...

Michael Collins
  (3:04 PM)

I'm thinking a Chicago native may not have an "open" mind to other cities and those other cities may have an argument about being the best fans!

Esteban Torpedo (SoCal)

Is it true that Evian is the French word for "lame?"

Michael Collins
  (3:05 PM)

I thought it meant rainwater... which would make sense for this week! HAHA

Tom (Verona, WI)

Good afternoon, MC! Bob Harig wrote that Tiger did not see Conway Farms until the pro-am on Wednesday! Perhaps Tiger missed your video about getting there early.

Michael Collins
  (3:05 PM)

Learning now what I meant! And Phil never saw the course until Thursday! DUMMY

BrianVT (Work)

Rory has to focus on reaching the Janzen/Pavin level before thinking about Palmer/Mickelson.

Michael Collins
  (3:06 PM)

short term vs. long term

KJ (Not Choi) (Beantown)

HI MC, always wondered why most caddies wore nature valley hats...I've heard N.V. offers caddies some $ for wearing it....how does this work, are they paid per round/tourney/yearly...and how much?

Michael Collins
  (3:07 PM)

It's a point system. The higher your player finishes the more points you earn then at the end of the year the points are given a cash value.

Nate (SLC, UT)

McIlroy is currently dead last at the BMW. I don't think he's been the same ever since he and Tiger became buddy-buddy. Do you think there's any truth to that? I believe Tiger has befriended him for no purpose other than to get in his head.

Michael Collins
  (3:08 PM)

No truth to that whatsoever. If that were the case he and Phil would've been best friends YEARS ago.

Michael Collins
  (3:09 PM)

And Tiger ain't calling Jordan Spieth saying, "Hey man, we should hang out!"

Josh A (Statesboro GA)

Don't you think the Tour Championship should be expanded just a bit? How about top 50? Puts a little too much emphasis on a couple weeks and not an entire season.

Michael Collins
  (3:10 PM)

Nope. I love the top 30 get in, and the FedEX Cup is a year long event, play well all year and you'll go into the Playoffs with a high ranking making it easy to get to Atlanta

Paul (Portland, OR)

Happy Friday, MC. It was interesting to watch pros play a golf course they weren't all that familiar with yesterday. Tiger missed at least a couple of short putts BADLY. One of them looked like the wind gusted up, but it just seems like when he does miss short putts now it's a bad stroke. Am I seeing this correctly?

Michael Collins
  (3:12 PM)

Happy Friday the 13th Paul! Short missed putts that don't even touch the hole are a combo platter of bad... stroke and read.

Ed (Long Island)

When you caddied for Streelman the year he won that Kodak challenge, at what point did that become a weekly topic for you guys and did he feel extra pressure on those holes?

Michael Collins
  (3:14 PM)

As soon as I came on board at the Byron Nelson and saw we made birdie at the Kodak Challenge hole I checked where we were ranked. Then towards the end of the year we added the Greensboro Tournament because it was a par 5 for the Challenge. We grinded a few times to get that win. Fun journey.

Bryce (NC)

Im hooked! We have the best players in the world going at it and if you play well your whole season or maybe even career could change with respect to getting into the majors.

Michael Collins
  (3:16 PM)

That's the part I do like about it too. A guy that otherwise would not have qualify for the Masters is now going as a reward to really good play for the year.

Arthur Chavez (Chicago)

Hey Big Mike. What is it that makes life and work balance so hard for PGA Tour players to get a handle on? If they're doing the right things at/away from home then what's the problem?

Michael Collins
  (3:18 PM)

Because when you get to a level where Rory is now, a week off isn't really "off". So trying to find time to actually take breath, watch a movie, and truly relax is challenging. And when you DON'T find the time, it's like being exhausted and frustrated, you feel like you just can't get caught up.

Willy Beamin (Cube Island, East Coast)

Miguel Collins, Could Speith actually have the game to win next week at a difficult East Lake golf course?

Michael Collins
  (3:19 PM)

I won't be surprised by anything this young man does. And yes, I do believe he could win at East Lake.

tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]

8 majors down, 4 more to go. Do you really think your boy R. Fowler will win a major next year, hence saving you treating me to a steak dinner? Also, do you already hate your fantasy football team as much as I hate mine? Have a good weekend Collins, always like/appreciate the chats.

Michael Collins
  (3:20 PM)

Thanks for being here. I do believe Rickie will win a major in the next two years. I didn't play fantasy football this year cause the season I did, I started hating football. I'm a little to emotionally invested. haha

isaac (chesapeake, va)

Michael i really enjoy watching your videos. It brings a sense of newness that golfing needs. You are making golf fun for people and i wanted to say thanks.

Michael Collins
  (3:22 PM)

really appreciate that Isaac, thank you

Joe (Connecticut)

How come people are always saying Rory is back after 1 or 2 okay events? Remember how he finished 2 at Texas and T8 at The Players and everyone thought he was back? Then he dwindled away and finally had a top 10 at the PGA Champ, and everyone said he was back. He's not going to be back until he can do this stuff on a constant basis, not just one tournament.

Michael Collins
  (3:23 PM)

so making $1.75 million just not good enough for you? Maybe we all set our expectations a bit high for Rory.

Bryce (NC)

Furyk on 59 watch! Time for a long chat with MC haha

Michael Collins
  (3:25 PM)

Just shot 28 on the front nine!! Unfortunately, I can't stay on long today. I'd get in more trouble leaving my kids at school til 6 than missing Furyk shoot 59. Family first.

Ken R (Montreal, QC)

Hi Mike. How often do the pros replace their clubs? With that in mind, how often should we amateurs replace ours? (within reason) - ie to take advantage of technological development or just clubs in better condition.

Michael Collins
  (3:27 PM)

Pros switch out irons between 2 a year and every two years depending on the player. I tell amateurs if you average 2 rounds a month then you should look at changing irons every two to three years. Wedges maybe every one to two years. Putter NEVER!! haha

Jefe (MN)

"$1.75 million in a down year ain't bad without a win." Umm, yes it is when you consider it doesn't even place him in the top 40 on the money list and he'll come up short of qualifying for the Tour Championship. You're right, he didn't make $0, but $1.75M is not a great (or even good) season with the purses today.

Jefe (MN)

"Maybe we all set our expectations a bit high for Rory." What, you mean like breaking 80 is too high of an expectation? Or qualifying for the Tour Championship at the end of the year? What are your expectations for him? Earning anything over $0?

Michael Collins
  (3:30 PM)

Go look at the money list and tell me how much 125th made. Then factor in a full equipment change including golf ball and know that most tour pro's that tried that took two years to make a full "recovery" and some NEVER did. So yes, expecting Rory to do what he did the past couple years was unrealistic.

Jacer24 (Rialto, CA)

Looking at the bottom of the leaderboard... Yikes. I know someone has to be down there... but Kuch, Duff, DJ. They are stinking up the joint. #presidentscup

Michael Collins
  (3:30 PM)

Glad they're stinking now! #GetItOutOfTheSystem

Edrick Pascual (Newark California)

Will Charles Barkley ever fix his swing?

Michael Collins
  (3:31 PM)

nope, but he'll learn to play with it

tdiddy (winnipeg) [via mobile]

Mike, I can't seem to remember. In the Tour Championship does the winner (regardless of if he made it at 30 or 10) will the whole shebang or does the point system still apply? If it's the former, would'nt that be THE MOST EXCITING non major of the year? Top 30 guys and the winner takes the 10 Million? Who would hate this?

Michael Collins
  (3:34 PM)

Only the guys inside the top five totally control their own destiny (meaning if they win the event, they win the Cup). Last time I was there the tour had two guys (scientists) and a "super" computer trying to figure out the numbers on the fly.

Ed (Long Island)

Do you think it's tough for these guys to get motivated for this playoff event? No cut, guaranteed money...I don't think there is any way Westwood or Rory play this bad if focused, Phil shows up late.

Michael Collins
  (3:35 PM)

Westwood is hurt (back), Rory when he gets it going the wrong way has a hard time grinding, and Phil is gearing up for the Tour Champ (he wants the BIG money)

Jacer24 (Rialto, CA)

I know how the golf swing can be... but Rory's tempo and positions look off. He's got to find a swing thought soon. Its not the arrows... its the indian.

Michael Collins
  (3:37 PM)

True, but if you give the indian different arrows, there's a good chance he'll come back from the hunt empty handed. Don't wonder why.

Andrew (Illinois)

MC, headed to the BMW tomorrow morning...how is the course set-up for the spectators?

Michael Collins
  (3:38 PM)

I'm not there. Bob Harig is covering the event.

Jacer24 (Rialto, CA)

T-Woods with 3 straight birdies continues his Phil impression.

Jacer24 (Rialto, CA)

Welcome to the Tiger Woods, Jekyll and Hyde Show!

Bryce (NC)

MC got his wish! The microphone is off. HAHA

Michael Collins
  (3:39 PM)

Someone must have showed my video from a few weeks ago!

KJ (Not Choi) (Beantown)

Is there a strict no alcohol policy during rounds....if so, how is it enforced and would it lead to automatic disqualification if violated?

Michael Collins
  (3:41 PM)

I can't see players drinking during rounds nowadays but if they were caught I'm sure they'd be "quietly" given a couple weeks off.

Jefe (MN)

"Go look at the money list and tell me how much 125th made." Soooo your expectations for Rory are anything better than 125th on the money list? Yes, that's why Nike gave him a quarter of a billion dollars...to linger on Tour and beat #125 on the money list.

Michael Collins
  (3:44 PM)

Jefe you're better than this, start an argument that has legs. If I'm Nike and I give you a ten year contract knowing the first two years will be bleak but eight years will be everything and more we hoped for, I'd call that a solid investment. And guess what, even thru this "bleak" time, Rory is getting press. I Know you've heard the saying, "there's NO such thing as bad press."

Weather Worn (Outer Space)

Pls tell Jefe (NM) Rory got MAYBE half of what he wrote $$$ wise.

Jacer24 (Rialto, CA)

Sounds like living in MN is getting to Jefe... can't blame him I guess.

Ken R (Montreal, QC)

What is the absolute strangest (craziest?) thing you've ever seen a tour player do on the course? (not countiung Sergio climb a tree that is)

Michael Collins
  (3:46 PM)

Saw a guy talking to his index finger like he was doing an interview... DURING the tournament with no cameras around. Freaked me out for a bit, showed my player... we stayed away from the guy for the round!

Big Mike (WA)

I've heard murmurs that pros change equipment ALL THE TIME and that it's really not such a big deal. You were a caddie on tour for a bit, right? Is this true? How often do players change it up?

Michael Collins
  (3:48 PM)

I've been saying, since rumors of the switch came out, that it's not changing clubs that makes the difference. It's changing golf balls. I was validated by tour reps and major winners alike when I did the video about it. Amateurs don't understand how much a different golf ball can affect a pro.

Arthur Chavez (Chicago)

Strangest thing...Couch's back-handed chipping!

Michael Collins
  (3:49 PM)

Just wait til Josh Broadway gets on tour... he PLAYS cross handed from tee to green!

Jacer24 (Rialto, CA)

Stenson in his skivies was pretty unusual.

Kevin (MD)

Didn't Tiger switch from Titleist to Nike? If so, when was that and how was his transfer? (just curious)

Michael Collins
  (3:51 PM)

Everything was VERY slowly. He didn't just dump out his bag a switch all at once which is why he was able to maintain a level of success. Phil is the only guy to switch all at once and succeed immediately at that level.

Big Mike (WA)

Interesting feedback MC! Thanks for the info about changing golf balls! Refresh my memory, when did Tiger change to a Nike ball? Did he struggle for an entire season while he was getting used to it as well? Maybe 1999? I thought it was maybe 2000 that he changed it up and he had an epic season with it...

Michael Collins
  (3:54 PM)

Yes 2000 but he had played a few tournaments with it before switching full time. You just have to remember that doing things slow and in pieces is always easier to adjust to than doing everything at once in golf.

Jacer24 (Rialto, CA)

Man, this hour does go by fast...

Michael Collins
  (3:54 PM)

told ya!!

Ken R (Montreal, QC)

At what point is it worth an amateur to switch to a more expensive Pro-V 1 type ball that promotes high spin? Is it based on their handicap or on their club-head speed or ???

Michael Collins
  (3:56 PM)

It's NOT always worth it for an amateur to switch to expensive golf balls. If you play your best with a less expensive ball, no need to switch.

Kartik (MA)

Furyk is hot, to say the least. Likelihood of seeing a 59 on a par 71 course MC??

Michael Collins
  (3:57 PM)

needs to go -3 in the last 7 holes with REALLY firm greens... about a 30% chance of doing it.

Michael Collins
  (3:58 PM)

Hope I don't get a speeding ticket trying to get the kids and get back to watch!! LOL

Lyle (NM)

Give us the 3-sentence version of why pros have a hard time with different balls, please.

Michael Collins
  (4:00 PM)

Go hit 20 chips and 20 putts with a Pinnacle, then do it with a Pro V1 and tell me they're the same. If they are even to you, golf ain't the sport for you.

Jacer24 (Rialto, CA)

Feel off the driver. Feel off the irons. Feel off the putter.

Michael Collins
  (4:01 PM)

It's been a blast as usual everyone!! Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel... Monday!!@ESPNCaddie on twitter or ESPNCaddie@gmail.com if you wanna email me. Have a great weekend everyone. Play well and be safe.MC