Letting It Vent

By Michael CollinsMarch 20, 2008, 4:00 pm
Editor's note: 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.
 
There is no way Tiger is going undefeated this year.
 
There is no way Tiger can win all four majors this year.
 
There is no way Justin Leonard is gonna blow a four-shot lead on a Sunday at The Hope.
 
There is no way Calc can lose The Honda after the first four holes.
 
Right?
 
I mean, we all knew the wind would blow on Saturday last week. We all knew a few guys would back up a little bit. But even in the caddie trailer for breakfast Saturday morning no one was talking about HIM.
 
Ill be honest, yes Im a caddie, yes Im a broadcaster, and yes I guess now Im a writer, but I am a fan first of this crazy game. Last Sunday I missed seeing the putt go in on 18 because I was at the scoring trailer with a friend of mine. I couldnt sneak him in behind the 18th green. Arnie was there and I just couldnt bring myself to do it. I know in my heart it was the right thing to do (or not to do) but man it is KILLING ME (and Im sure my buddy, too)! So then last night Im watching the third Indiana Jones movie and it hits me: If winning all four majors in the same calendar year is the Holy Grail for golf, what would going undefeated be?
 
And, if I hear one more person say Tiger Slam Im going to commit a crime against them.
 
I gotta vent, and you guys are all my therapists since I havent gotten to be on stage in a couple weeks. Normally the comedy stage is my release, and it isnt edited, but this week this is gonna have to do, so if some of this doesnt make sense go easy on the editor. He probably HAD to take some parts out.
 
I hate media.
 
Not because all my friends (caddies and players) make fun of me for going to the dark side, but because some of the guys in the media hate me because of the friendships that I have with the players and caddies.
 
Last week some writer complained about the way a player (one we all know) and I were joking around before an interview. But instead of coming to me man-to-man this he complained to a TOUR liaison. Now, as almost all of you know or have started to figure out, when you write me to disagree (or even agree) with something Ive written about you are probably going to get a note back from me about what youve written. I know its surprised a lot of you. But like I said, Im a fan first, too, and I just want you all to know how much I appreciate the fact that yall take the time to read my column and then write me. Just family-taught respect (thanks Mom ' she writes me, too). Agree or disagree it shows a big set of you-know-what to come to me and tell me that you think Im cool or an idiot and I respect that. So when a professional writer attacks me from behind, my blood boils.
 
Now I have friends who are also amazing writers, Tim Rosaforte, Rex Hoggard, Jaime Diaz, John Maginnes and Jim Moriarty, to name a few that are out on TOUR week after week busting their butts to get stories without hating on each other for the relationships that they have built over the years with some players. Some players dont like some media, but for specific reasons. You know if I wrote a column about So and So golfer that wasnt very nice and didnt talk to the player about it, theres a good chance said player is not gonna be talking to said writer for a while. But most of us are up front with each other and thats what I love about the TOUR. It is a big family; we just forgot to NOT invite the ignorant uncle.
 
Thank goodness I have all of you. Tiger, PLEASE win this week! Makes me feel better and gives all of us something to talk about other than the knuckleheads we have to see and deal with everyday!
 
Email your thoughts to Michael Collins
 
Related Links:
  • Michael Collins Archive
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Daly makes birdie from 18-foot-deep bunker

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 11:14 pm

    John Daly on Friday somehow got up and down for birdie from the deepest bunker on the PGA Tour.

    The sand to the left of the green on the 16th hole at the Stadium Course at PGA West sits 18 feet below the surface of the green.

    That proved no problem for Daly, who cleared the lip three times taller than he is and then rolled in a 26-footer.

    He fared just slightly better than former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill.

    Getty Images

    Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

    Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

    Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

    In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

    Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

    “I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

    Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

    Getty Images

    Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

    In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.


    Made Cut

    Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

    Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

    “If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

    McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

    “The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    September can’t get here quick enough.

    Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

    There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

    In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.


    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

    “I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

    The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

    Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

    Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

    The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

    The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

    “My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.


    Missed Cut

    Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

    After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

    It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

    Tweet of the week:

    It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

    The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

    Getty Images

    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.