Another Week in Paradise


2007 Sony Open 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.
HONOLULU, Hawaii -- So, you wanna know how it feels to see your ex-boss win 1.1 mil? Actually, not as bad as you think.
I worked as a caddie for Daniel Chopra his rookie year from Doral (what used to be the Ford Championship) until what used to be the Western Open in Chicago. He fired me after the FIRST round. Most caddies get fired after the second round, but not me! A few weeks earlier we had almost gotten into a fight on the golf course DURING the round, and then in the parking lot after the round.
Sometimes a caddie-player relationship is bad from the get-go; its like meeting a hot chick who turns out to be bipolar. Yeah, you did it, but you were OK with the break up, and when you see her at a party with another guy and shes now on medication youre actually happy for them.
So seeing a mature, humble, and even emotional Daniel win the Mercedes-Benz Championship was really cool for me. I even got the winning interview for XM and thats what us reporters live for. Hes got a great caddie, Mitch Knox, whos a good friend and caddied for David Duval when he was No. 1 in the world, so I know Daniels in good hands.
As for me, except for missing the $110,000 pay day, life is still pretty damned good.
Holy cow, did you guys send me a lot of emails telling me what to do and where to go in Maui! And I thank you for all of them. I didnt receive any in the mail, which was a relief. I didnt get to go snorkeling, whale watching, scuba diving, or riding around the island on a helicopter. I do have a JOB to do out here. OK, that is hard to say with a straight face, but I really do spend almost eight hours a day on the course. I did get to eat breakfast at the Gazebo twice. And went to a couple of the restaraunts y'all recommended, so thank you. I did not have a bad meal in Maui.
I did get to play the Plantation Course on Monday (I would highly recommend it) and made 4 birdies. Birdied two of the three par-3s (the eighth and 11th) and birdied the sixth and 18th. Still shot 84, but hot dawg it was fun!
Then Tuesday flew over to Honolulu (not in first class) and hit traffic. And I mean a lot of traffic.
I do know the people here are so much better looking than me - I hate them. Just kiddin; I dont hate anybody. And I already had a memorable first night. My roommate this week, Omar Uresti (another former boss), got tickets to a movie premier and pro-am pairings party hosted by Sony.
Now you are probably asking yourself, why is a PGA TOUR pro staying with his former caddie? Hes cheap. Thats it. Seriously, he just bought an RV to travel around to TOUR events in, but the bridge to Hawaii still isnt done, and travel on TOUR isnt cheap for the guys who dont have big endorsement deals - life isnt all first class and seared pork loin. Hes got a wife and two small children thatll be with him on TOUR, so saving a buck here and there makes sense. Plus, a half-black guy and a Mexican rooming together is just more comedy for me!
Anyway, we walk up the red carpet, Omar, Mark Carnevale (92 rookie of the year and fellow XM broadcaster), and I. Camera and video guys come out from behind a curtain, lift their cameras and realize we are NOT the shot they were hoping for.
The movie is called 21. Its about blackjack and based on a book that was a true story. The movie was highly fictionalized but still very entertaining.
But the coolest part of the night, other than seeing all the players that showed up for the first time this year, was meeting Robert Troyer. Who the hell is that you ask? Robert won a contest on GOLF CHANNEL and is getting to play in the pro-am on Wednesday, and the look on his face at the party was priceless. His wife was much less impressed by the affair, but she was LOVING the free drinks (shell wanna to kick my a__ for that).
Robert, I didnt even know we were having a contest but I am sure glad you won. I gave him some advice for those nerves that were already starting the night before his big tee time (imagine what those butterflies will be like).
Have fun! Sometimes we forget to do that when we play golf, when we go to work, when we are with family. So my assignment to all of you today is to HAVE FUN!
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