No Football No Problem

By Michael CollinsFebruary 13, 2008, 5:00 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.
Well boys and girls, now that football season is over golf is all we've got! March Madness doesn't start for another month, and no one really cares about college basketball until tournament time. That means right now is when those of you in the northern and middle parts of the country (ALL of Canada is included) are turning on the TV and HATING on the PGA TOUR.
Last week Pebble Beach had its best weather in years (thank goodness I'm an idiot and took the week off because I was sure it was gonna be nasty). This week the boys are in Los Angeles and just in time for the writers strike post party! Thank God, too, I was having a hard time NOT being funny (I heard that snicker ya smart a--es!).
So I've gotten a lot of great emails from all of you wanting me to write about various subjects. Most requested of all is wanting to know what it's like for the middle of the pack players out here on TOUR as far as travel and expenses go. How glamorous is it? What do the regular guys do off the course? Etc., etc.
Here goes my best shot at it:
Now, there's a bunch of different types of guys out on TOUR, married with kids, married, engaged, girlfriend, and single.
Let s start with the married with children fellas. These guys have it the hardest, especially if the kid(s) are under school age because mommy doesn't want to stay home with the kids while daddy is out partying. Even though daddy's not really out partying, that's how mommy feels being stuck at home with a couple of screaming kids, and when daddy calls and says he's just getting ready to sit down at a restaurant with a couple of players and caddies.
The problem is, for the guy who is just inside that top 125 number, you don't wanna spend the money on flying the wife and kids around because it gets REALLY expensive - it can cost over $150K depending on how many kids you ve got (and it's a NIGHTMARE for a woman to fly alone with kids). And you just can't go blowing through the endorsement money which won't come close to covering all the expenses for the year. You might not be back next year so you gotta squirrel that cash dude!
So what do you do? Well, some guys buy a bus/RV. It's relatively inexpensive - $300k for a nice one (yes, I ve been in a couple of the $2 million ones) that the family can live out of, and if you have to go back to the Nationwide Tour the next year you've got it covered. There are a bunch of guys that do that and park next to each other so the wives and kids can play together while daddy's at work . Wives love it 'cause they don't have to find laundry mats, kid friendly restaurants, and the other guys you're parking next too and hanging out with are going through the exact same thing that you are.
Upside: your house is with you, home cooked meals, no packing and unpacking every week. Downside: No 'you' time; miss a cut and there's no pack up and start fresh somewhere else; you may NEVER EVER complain about a bad meal; and what, go out with the boys - I dare you to try!
Married guys with no kids have it a little better ($150K-450K expenses per year). Wife travels with them to some of the tournaments; DON'T bring 'em to the events where you have an ex-girlfriend. You can go out to dinner, parties, movies and always have a date.
Upside: Your soulmate is by your side every step of the way. Downside: Some soulmates are A LOT more expensive than others. Depending on the crew your wife runs with out on TOUR, she could start spending more than you're making; and when you're not particularly playing well that advice she gives could make you wanna hide her body in the trunk of your courtesy car. You can't just tell your wife to go home and get a damn job!
Engaged guys ($100k-$200k): They are heading towards the same boat as the married guys but THEY really believe that their girl is gonna be different than the OTHER married guys girlfriends. I ve only met one so far that may hold true for, but only time will tell.
Single guys with girlfriends ($90k-$150k): This may be the second hardest of all the guys on tour. Why you ask? OK, let's say you're a rookie on TOUR. Fly your girlfriend out - $450; stay in a nice hotel suite for the week - $1500; restaurants, room service and entertainment - $1000; meeting a chick at the tournament that's even better looking and wants to hook up with you at the next event when she's not out with you - PRICELESS! See, every week your girlfriend is not out with you, really hot girls are gonna try and hook up when you're out with the fellas (and most caddies will not help the situation as they're trying to hook up with her good looking friend) and you have to behave because she's gonna call and ask how your days been and if she hears girls or a bar atmosphere in the backround, well you better have a jewelers that delivers on speed dial. Or maybe you kept that other girls number!
Single and ready to mingle!! ($80k-$130k) The hardest thing for a single guy out on TOUR is remembering to play golf. So many distractions - and not just girls; club manufactures, clothing reps, and even other guys who've been out for a while. It is so hard to remember what got you out on TOUR when everyone and they're mom is telling you that your poop doesn t stink anymore and you are gonna get to try the newest, secret, shaft, club, ball, putter, blah, blah, blah. And yes the women. WELCOME TO THE BUFFET!!!!
You know what? Even at the bottom - even if you only last a year out on tour - it was still a great ride!
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.