These Guys are Good People

By Michael CollinsMarch 6, 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.
I performed at the pro-am pairings party last night here at the PODS and I laugh now at the questions some of the guys asked me after their draw. Ironically, the group that had the last pick in the afternoon draw got George McNeil. They came up to me and said, Mike, do you know George? Is he a nice guy? Who is he and what has he done? We got the short end of the stick, didnt we?
I proceeded to tell them what a great guy George is and how much fun theyre going to have and reminded them that he WON last year in Vegas. But everyone said the same thing after he won: Who the hell is George McNeil?! Even the guys who got David Duval asked me if they should talk to him when they got out there. That may seem like a valid question if you were playing with Greg Norman, a known unfriendly pro-am partner, but David Duval?
I had forgotten that most average fans dont know the players on the level that I am fortunate enough to know them. I told the guys how cool David is and how talkative he is, and encouraged them to talk fishing because Duval loves to fish. Of course the spokesman of the group says, I dont know the first freaking thing about fishing! I told him then he had homework to do; he didnt laugh. So I said look, these guys are just regular guys who can do one thing better than everyone else and that one thing puts them in a position that brings fame and sometimes fortune. But after all of that theyre just regular guys. Talk to them like regular guys and theyll do the same to you.
By the end of the night 20 or so guys had asked me the same type questions:
Who is Nathan Green? Bald Australian with a great sense of humor, a lot like me but with an accent, 40 pounds lighter, and white. Is Nick Watney nice? Yeah, but he is very soft spoken so when you ask him a question make sure youre standing close to him or you wont hear what he says.
What does Davis Love III like off the course? He rides motorcycles and loves skiing, but you have to talk to him about how he jacked his ankle up just walking! Even his doctor didnt believe him. Does Hunter Mahan really look like his picture on the screen? No, thats Gary Busey after his last arrest. Hunter has longer hair and loves to talk Dallas Cowboys football.
Does Boo really talk like that? Yep, and when you play with him ask him about fighting an orangutan. Yes, its true and yes he lost! Does Ryan Moore wear that goofy hat in practice rounds? Yep, and when he goes shopping.
You shouldve seen the guys with Steve Elkington when I told them he didnt have a bag sponsor. I thought one guy was going to get his check book out right there at the party and go wait on the driving range overnight to make Steve an offer.
I have to admit, sometimes because were out here 40 weeks a year it is easy to forget that most people dont know them like we (caddies, other players, and the media) know each other. I guess when it comes down to it, its a relatively small community and pretty tight knit. Occasionally all you see on TV is the guy whos on the golf course looking serious and determined. Never smiling, always focused on the task at hand, maybe a slight wave to the crowd every now and then. And thats mostly the medias fault.
How many of you look at Vijay and think, dont want to play with him. As a matter of fact I wouldnt even want to have a beer with him after a round. When the truth really is, Vijay is one of the most entertaining guys to be around on TOUR. Hes a constant cut up, always telling jokes and pulling pranks on other golfers and caddies. Tough to picture Vijay joking around when all youve ever seen is the serious guy in a tournament, and sometimes he even cuts up during a tournament! Its just never shown on TV.
Even the chosen one himself is not only a jokester during practice rounds, Tiger and David Feherty will have fart contests during the tournament! Believe me, Ive been next to both of them when theyve gone toe-to-toe (insert your own joke here!). And Tiger is the best in the world at THAT, too!! But David is a close second.
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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.