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June 9, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Michael Collins

Michael Collins
  (3:00 PM)

Welcome to the fastest hour in golf! Although today I'm feeling like Ben Crane! How many guys will finish under par this week on a US Open set-up with no real rough but serious "waste areas"? What are your expectations?

Tom (Verona, WI)

Good afternoon, MC! Did you see Phil's drop on 14 yesterday? I thought a player had to let a dropped ball come to rest but apparently it's OK to try to grab the ball when it's bouncing towards water. Do you know the rule for this?

Michael Collins
  (3:00 PM)

Hey Tom. As soon as the ball crosses the hazard line you can grab it even if it's moving.

Ed (Queens Village)

Who wins Open a former major champion or first time major winner?

Michael Collins
  (3:01 PM)

First timer wins this week I believe

Chris (Chicago)

Phil Mickelson wins the US Open if...

Michael Collins
  (3:02 PM)

He hits 65% of greens or better and goes 25-25 on putts inside 5 feet.

Greg (South Bend, IN.)

Hey MC, When does your top 25 come out?

Michael Collins
  (3:02 PM)

Should be posted Wednesday

Chris (Chicago)

Anything new about Tiger that you may know behind the scenes? Hitting full shots? Target date yet?

Michael Collins
  (3:04 PM)

None announced yet. Haven't heard about any full shot stuff.

Alex Williams (Atlanta, GA)

With this week being so important to Phil Mickelson given his special history here, will he do anything before or during the week to honor or recognize Payne Stewart and his family and that special experience on Sunday back in 1999?

Michael Collins
  (3:05 PM)

Don't know that Phil is doing anything special on his own. Remember we have been back once already since '99 in '05

David (Chicago)

How do you see Pinehurst playing this week? What do you think the winning score will be? Did you get a chance to watch the Payne special yesterday? If you did what were your thoughts?

Michael Collins
  (3:07 PM)

I don't know how bad any tree damage was here (pines normally do ok in winter unless there's bad ice) and because there's no rough to maintain the course looks in really good shape to me.

Marc (Vegas)

Padraig Harrington, what happened to his game?

Michael Collins
  (3:08 PM)

It's the epitome of over thinking the game and tinker with things until they go bad, then not being able to get back what was once great.

Shawn (Detroit)

As a Phil fan you just said he will not win because he will never go 25-25 on puts 5 feet or less...thanks for killing my hopes for a Lefty victory on Father's Day Michael...

Michael Collins
  (3:09 PM)

Father's Day is not til Sunday, and if you're a Phil fan then you should have hope that he can make 25-25 putts inside 5' feet. Way to have faith in your boy!

Cody (Illinois)

I am thinking maybe 3 people under par this week. If there are more than 10 I don't consider it a US Open....Example Rory

Michael Collins
  (3:11 PM)

Remember the Women have to play right after the men so they can't let the course get out of control.

Al (Pensacola)

As always Mike, thanks for taking time to chat. First time major winner or previous major champion at Pinehurst this week. Who do you like? Methinks Matsuyama and Spieth may both be in the mix Sunday.

Michael Collins
  (3:13 PM)

I'll be on Thursday-Sunday doing Golfcast all day. I have a feeling about Spieth (it's his 3rd US Open) and Rory this week.

David (Austin)

I read the article about Ben Crenshaw and a partner trying to get No. 2 back to the original design envisioned when it was built, with the exception not giving up length, and thought how cool it would be if more courses went with more traditional designs instead of some of these over fancy cathedrals. Your thoughts

Michael Collins
  (3:15 PM)

I think it makes sense financially because they are easier to maintain then keeping thick rough lush. And natural areas are good for native animals and plants as well.

Harrison (Florida)

Michael, Have u ever played a us open golf course before

Michael Collins
  (3:17 PM)

Merion, last year the Monday after the US Open. It was AWESOME!

Jacer24 (Rialto, CA)

Over under on guys wearing knickers to pay homage to Payne... 10?

Michael Collins
  (3:18 PM)

Under. maybe 5

JA (The 215)

Do you think we will see a 50+ year old winner of a major in the near future? Ever?

Michael Collins
  (3:19 PM)

Yeah I think there will be another +50 guy get into contention within the next 3 years. But win??? That's another answer...

Wally (South Bend)

What do you think winning score will be around? Guesses are all over the map

Michael Collins
  (3:21 PM)

That's because the forecast has 40% chance of thunderstorms everyday! If the course gets rain and gets soft the scores will be low (for a US Open) but if that doesn't happen, -2 might win

Alex Williams (Atlanta, GA)

Ah, I almost forgot about 2005! I did see that his former caddy was out there on today. Does Payne's family always make the trip back to the US Open at Pinehurst? 2005 & now 2014? I thought I remember seeing them there in 05.

Michael Collins
  (3:22 PM)

Yeah, I talked to Mike Hicks about an hour before this chat. He and I have been really close friends for a few years. This is a special place for him. Haven't heard if the Stewart family is coming this year.

Davis (Reno)

What do you think the winning score is this year with the changes to the course?

Michael Collins
  (3:24 PM)

No clue. No one really knows because we don't know how well guys are gonna be able to recover from the waste areas. Until we see it on Thursday, anyone who tells you they know the winning score is just blowing rainbows up your keister! HAHA

I M Smarter (Twitter)

I will not take you for granite!!!

Michael Collins
  (3:25 PM)

BAAHAHAHA!! You saw that post from Christina Kim.

Geoff (Easton, PA)

Amazing... Michael Campbell was the winner here in 2005... yep... a long long time ago for him...

Michael Collins
  (3:26 PM)

It's the last US Open I caddied :(

Quint (INdy)

I haven't been able to ask you a question lately, but wanted to see what your take on a thought to speed up play. Do you think that if the PGA let just the caddies ride in carts would that help

Michael Collins
  (3:27 PM)

Nope. With the money that's on the line out here, unless guys get penalized strokes (instead of cash) they will never get faster.

Bubba (Watson)

Can I win here MC and try to complete the slam this year. What do i have to do to win MC?

Michael Collins
  (3:28 PM)

Slam no, but win here, yes definitely. BUT... you're going to have to show a patience on the course that you've never shown before. Even more than at the Masters. Can you do it?

Marc (NJ) [via mobile]

Who's bag were you on in 05?

Michael Collins
  (3:29 PM)

Omar Uresti. One of the greatest weeks of my caddie career (personally not financially)

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What PGA Golfer did you ever beat at Golf?

Michael Collins
  (3:30 PM)

Omar Uresti but he was giving me 15 shots and I only beat him by 1!

John (Pittsburgh)

Can we at least get a more star studded leaderboard than the Masters? Lot of lesser names on the weekend back at Augusta

Michael Collins
  (3:30 PM)

The problem wasn't the leaderboard, it was the lack of excitement on the back nine Sunday. That's where the letdown was.

Deshawna (Capitol Hill- Washington, DC)

Michael, I asked Bob this question on his chat -ESPN live camera Any weekend watching Tiger practice at home or follow him around for 18 at his home course VS Regular Network coverage of weekend PGA TOUR event.... Who gets better ratings? ESPN TIGER or Network? Bob said Tiger. My office says Tiger (24) Network( 4). Your Vote?

Michael Collins
  (3:31 PM)

I agree... Tiger would win in a landslide.

Vincent (Bristol)

Who is your favorite to win this week? I'm taking W.Simpson.

Michael Collins
  (3:32 PM)

My top 25 list will be out Wednesday

Rob (Oakland)

Which past major winner in the field that hasn't done anything for a while do you like to come out of left field and challenge for the lead?

Michael Collins
  (3:33 PM)

Goosen

Nelson [via mobile]

Any word if the greens and fairways at Pinehurst will drain better after a storm than on a more typical US Open course? If so, then would that mean scoring wouldn't be affected all that much by the weather?

Michael Collins
  (3:34 PM)

It's a sand base so it drains very well. But just because they drain well doesn't mean they don't get soft.

John (Baltimore)

Micahel, Whats the greatest major that you've caddied in. Which one is the one that you'll never forget?

Michael Collins
  (3:36 PM)

09' PGA my caddie roomate was Y.E. Yangs caddie and even though me and Kevin Streelman missed the cut, I was with AJ at the end when they beat Tiger and we went drinking with YE later that night. Here in '05 was the most unforgettable with Omar.

Steve (New Jersey)

How many more (realistic) chances does Phil have to win the Open? I saw just this year and next year at Chambers Bay. After that Oakmont, Shinnecock, Erin Hills, and Pebble don't seem like Phil type courses.

Michael Collins
  (3:37 PM)

This one is the best shot because of how it will be short game specialized which is right in Phil's wheelhouse.

Austin (Pittsburgh)

Which do you prefer, caddying or reporting?

Michael Collins
  (3:38 PM)

Can never win reporting! But never missed a cut reporting either.

MB (MD)

I'm a little worried that with the women following the men, the course will play too soft and a Congressional will happen and a normal tournament happens. What can be done to keep the course firm and fast but not destroy it for the women? What is your opinion of going back-to-back? Also, Spurs or Heat?

Michael Collins
  (3:40 PM)

Women should have gone first, but I understand why it couldn't be that way. And because of the forecast, mother nature will decide how firm and fast it'll play. Heat in 6.

Ankeet (Saginaw)

MC, is Poulter ever going to win a big event on American soil or the Open Championship? He is totally overrated because of his Ryder cup record. Your thoughts?

Michael Collins
  (3:41 PM)

Poulter is in no way overrated. Winning is HARD. I don't know that he'll ever win a major but do I believe he could? yes

Jim (Philly)

Which of Phil's 6 second place finishes would have been hardest for you had you been on his bag?

Michael Collins
  (3:41 PM)

This last one.

Alex (London)

Hey MC, thanks for chatting as always. As a big fan of Luke, I'm hoping he can drive straight enough to let his short game do the trick. Given how well he played for 3 days at Merion last year, is that crazy?

Michael Collins
  (3:43 PM)

Sorry but yes. This is a MUCH bigger golf course then Merion was for Luke. I'll be impressed if he finishes top 20.

Tom (Verona, WI)

Maybe Phil has a better chance at a non-Phil course because then the pressure is off and Phil can be Phil! You feeling it?

Michael Collins
  (3:44 PM)

Reverse pyschology? Not buying it.

Ankeet (Saginaw)

Apart from maybe Bones, do you think any other caddy would reject Tiger's offer to caddy for him?

Michael Collins
  (3:45 PM)

I think there are about 10-15 caddies that would turn him down.

LeBron (Miami)

Last week you said Heat in 7. This week in 6. You must have seen something.

Michael Collins
  (3:46 PM)

I'm #Parkering right now doing this chat! hahaha

Deshawna (Capitol Hill- Washington,DC)

Thank You for answering my question...... My pick?Bubba Watson 2for2. Very creative- no rough and fairly straight off tee. Only question in my mind ? NERVES over those nasty 5ft par saves . Have a really fun week.

Michael Collins
  (3:47 PM)

Thanks man, come hang during the live golfcast sometime this week.

Bryce (NC)

Have you walked the course yet MC? Thoughts?

Michael Collins
  (3:48 PM)

As soon as we're done here I'm going back out

Bryce (NC)

if the course plays firm and fast +2 will win this week

James (Miami)

Mc, whats the deal with usga destroying the course for women. I've heard that all week but dont quite get it. Whats wrong with women playing the same golf course but shortened.

Michael Collins
  (3:48 PM)

USGA will NOT destroy the course, if anything, they'll protect it.

Cody (Illinois)

Live Golfcast time this week?

Michael Collins
  (3:50 PM)

9am EST Thursday and Friday. Sat-Sun TBD (but probably around 2 or 3 pm)

James (Austin)

Mc, Are you at pinehurst right now?

Michael Collins
  (3:51 PM)

Oh yeah. Sitting in media center.

MB (MD)

I think it's great that US Opens go to public places (Bethpage Black, etc) this way the viewers can play the course and have an idea of how to play the course, have a similar putt on a green as the pros. Of the public courses in the rotation, how would you rate them? Or at least your favorite? I say Spurs in 7

Michael Collins
  (3:52 PM)

I LOVE the USGA going to places where anyone has access to play. The game is for the people so bring it to them.

Mark (SC)

Please dont let DJ ground his club on Sunday..

Michael Collins
  (3:52 PM)

Won't have to worry about that here... much

MB (MD)

I'm not in the camp of 'protecting par' but I think the setup to make par mean something is great. Without the rough and graduated rough, how will the waste area's and grassy area's really play? Will it be a 1/2 stroke to full stroke penalty or will it depend on the lie?

Michael Collins
  (3:54 PM)

That depends on whether or not the USGA "grooms" those areas daily or let's them stay tore up. Then could be 1/2 stroke to 1 full stroke pnealty. But the objest is to hit the fairway.

Andrew (WI)

Given the venue (Pinehurst), the top form of all the biggest names (Inbee wins yesterday, Lexi, Ko, Wie, Lewis, on and on)...greatest US Women's Open ever?

Michael Collins
  (3:54 PM)

I'm scared to even dream that.

Cody (Illinois)

Replying to Ankeet's question...Why do you think some of the Caddies wouldn't take the job?

Michael Collins
  (3:55 PM)

Because they have it so good with the guys they're with.

David (Austin)

SPIEEETH!!!

Geoff (Easton, PA)

As great as it is to see a star-studded leaderboard... I love the US Open because of the many "unknowns" that qualify and play... get to see a few in action. Any amateurs or "unknowns" that you like to perform well this week?

Michael Collins
  (3:56 PM)

You'll have to wait til Wed.

Dan (Fremont, MI)

Do you think Spieth will be in contention on Sunday?

Michael Collins
  (3:56 PM)

yes

Tom (L.A.) [via mobile]

Who do you think has been the flukiest US Open winner in the past dozen years? Has to be Michael Campbell right? Maybe Lucas Glover?

Michael Collins
  (3:57 PM)

Definitely Michael Campbell

Jacer24 (Rialto, CA)

Fluff and Stevie might have their reasons... maybe.

Michael Collins
  (3:57 PM)

HAHAHA!! true

Austin (Pittsburgh)

You don't ever grab a drink to celebrate a particularly insightful video? Could be considered a reporting "win".

Michael Collins
  (3:59 PM)

No. A win is getting an interview with someone no one else got or getting a player or caddie to talk about something with you they'd never do with anyone else. Having that kind of trust from them is a big win to me.

David (Austin)

Adam Scott in contention?

Michael Collins
  (3:59 PM)

Yes

Michael Collins
  (4:00 PM)

Well this was like my practice round going into Thursday. Make sure to come hang for a while. Thanks again and have a great week!! Your caddie, MC.