End of the Year Madness

By Michael CollinsNovember 6, 2008, 5:00 pm
It's been difficult to focus these past couple weeks. Golf Channel gave me a pilot for a TV show about caddies and we filmed on Tuesday and Wednesday.
 
If it ever makes it on air (fingers crossed everyone please), I'm going to take you inside the caddie trailer, talk about caddie nicknames and sit down with three caddies and tell stories that no one has ever heard. I was absolutely terrified in the weeks leading up to it. Thinking of ideas, stressing over the possibility of having my own show, or even worse... bombing (every comedians secret nightmare).
 
It brought back memories of the stress of caddying coming down the stretch, needing a couple of top 10s for my player to keep his Tour card. Nothing is worse than trying to pretend the last tournament of the year is just another event when your job is at stake. And I don't just mean as a caddie.
 
Starting a caddie job for a player is a business decision at first but as the tournaments and time go by a friendship is almost always created and usually strengthened. This is a man you feel everything with ' the highs, the lows and everything in between ' so when you get to the final event of the year and you're short on the money list, things can get stressed.
 
Sometimes you're so far off from getting your card only a win will do, and if you both know he's not on top of his game, the week is actually fun because it's just a preparation for the dreaded Q-School. Knowing that your going to Q-School isn't fun but it puts a lot less stress on the final event of the year, so you get to be loose and joking around, probably going to Disney to hit all the parks and rides.
 
And the fishing this week ' if you like bass ' is some of the best all year. It still cracks me up seeing professionals in golf carts (yes, this week during practice rounds pro's get carts because it's a pro-am format) with those big Tour bags barely strapped in and a big fishing rod strapped in on the other side.
 
This year Robert Garrigus caught a 9 pounder on Tuesday! I saw the picture he took on his cell.
 
Now for the caddies and players within striking distance of getting their card or just conditional status (126-150), there are no trips to the Disney parks, no fishing rods on the back of golf carts. Only extra Aleve in the golf bag because of the stress headaches that are going to happen this week.
 
Where'd we eat last night? Which wine did I drink with dinner? A restaurant can lose a players business for years if he eats there on a Wednesday night and then goes out and shoots a 75, putting him out of a chance to keep his card.
 
Yes, we're that crazy out here ' now you know. And it gets worse! If you eat somewhere and shoot a 67... guess where you're eating every night that week? And let me tell you, if you are sitting with your player at the table and order something different... there a good chance a fork is going to be sticking out of your rear end if your boy shoots anything worse than 70 the next day.
 
Now, not all guys out here are like that. OK, yes they are, but some try to hide it. I'm a fan of the guys who let it all hang out, emotions on the sleeve, I think they recover from bad breaks quicker than the guys who try and keep it all inside.
 
Either type, it's all the same for the guys carrying the bag this week. When your player looks at you for club advice or just a quick talk while youre walking down the fairway, you better be the calming force in this time of extreme stress.
 
Hats off to my boys out there this week, I know you won't all help your players keep their Tour cards, but just to be out there popping those Aleves, Tylenols, and Advils makes us all root for you.
 

Michael Collins has been a stand-up comedian for 15 years and has more than seven years experience as a professional caddie. He currently covers the PGA Tour as a correspondent with XM Satellite Radio and takes his turn on The Turn Mondays on Golf Channel. He also has his own Web site, www.funnycaddy.com
 
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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.