Getting Together with Natalie

By Michael CollinsNovember 13, 2008, 5:00 pm
I know a caddie who scheduled his wedding in the next couple weeks just so he could tell golfers he wasnt available to caddie for Q-school.
 
Boys and girls, we have to look forward before we can look back even if looking forward is not pretty to most of us.
 
Now there are exceptions to this rule...
 
Kevin Streelman comes to mind. I got to know Kevin when he played in a tournament in Las Vegas last year called the Ultimate Game. He was a mini-tour player who got a sponsor to put up $50,000 for him and another $50,000 for the guy who went on to win (Scott Piercy).
 
Kevin made it to the finals, which made his investor his money back, but didnt win. Then, as is usually the case, talent finds a way. Now the journey for most trying to get through all three stages of Q-school ends, almost thankfully, at second stage. If you are lucky enough to make it through to final stage from first stage, its a scratch off lottery ticket chance youll make it through. But hey... SOMEBODY has to win those scratch offs right?
 
This year it was Streelman, and if I had a vote for Rookie of the Year hed get mine. Year-long consistency means much more to me than a win. Dont get me wrong, a win is huge, but consistency means staying power and Kevins got it, plus a grounded family life that hasnt let the big tour money change him.
 
He is recently married to a beautiful girl, who wouldve married him if he was a gas station attendant in N.J. and you can see it in her eyes. He has a family that still laughs when they see how much money he made on his last check. His brother caddied for him at Disney and needed oxygen when he saw that his bro had just made over $100 grand that week.
 
Trust me when I tell you, this kid is going win, and win more than once on Tour next year. I just hope hes MY boss!
 
For the rest of the guys going through second stage of 'Q' this week my heart is out to you. It sucks, plain and simple. This may be the hardest stage of them all because if you dont make it through, you literally dont have a job next year. And working at Waffle House while trying to fine tune your golf game is about as much fun as a root canal without the Novocain and laughing gas.
 
My heart and thoughts are with all you guys, I ask that you all be blessed this week to play to the best of your ability so that youll know if what youve got is good enough. Nothing feels worse than not having your best stuff and than having to wonder, If I really played my best... could I make it?' Try sitting on that for a year! No thanks, Ill take the hemorrhoids instead, doc. Play well boys!
 
A few weeks ago I asked a bunch of you to give me your take on the FedEx Cup and the Playoffs. I got some interesting responses to the question and didnt get the one answer I was looking for - Its fine leave it alone.
 
Why? Because like putting lipstick on a pig... its still a pig. I aint kissin it! OK, maybe back in my wild younger days if no one was looking, but my point is this: How does my friend Jay Williamson make it to the third Playoff event in St. Louis, where there are only 69 guys and NO cut, yet finish 137th on the money list and be headed back to Q-School?
 
The PGA Tour Playoffs are like the NCAA Football BCS games. Great golf and great football, but at the end of the day are you satisfied? Me neither.
 
Sirius and XM Radio have given me a show starting Monday, November 17th from 8-10a.m. Now those of you who know me, and know what Ive said and done on XMs PGA Tour Network, know that I may be kicked off the air by Friday! But youre invited to listen, call, and email. Playing Thru with TJ and Michael is on XM 146 and Sirius 209.
 
Davis Love III is my first guest. Gotta ask him about his motorcycle obsession (he was on an episode of American Chopper on Discovery Channel!) and how he tore his ankle up walking?
 
Working on Natalie Gulbis - keep your fingers crossed. If everything is in CAPITAL LETTERS NEXT WEEK... IM STILL ON THE HIGH OF GETTING TO RAP WITH HER!
 

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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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.