Dream Come True

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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 don't care who wins the Zurich Classic because I've already won.
 
Here's how my dream week began.
 
This past Christmas I told my best friend his present was a trip to any tournament I'm going to. Having never been to New Orleans, and because I'm not out on the course for 12 hours a day and we could actually have some fun, he chose this week. Good choice.
 
I told him I was performing at the pairings party. What I didn't tell him was that Tommy Fonseca, Tournament Director of the Zurich Classic (and my new hero), had gotten me a spot in the Wednesday pro-am itself. What Tommy didn't tell me was with whom he had paired me.
 
So I got up on stage Tuesday night and proceeded to make fun of Jim Furyk (who was there with his wife), Stewart Cink, and pretty much all of my buddies out on TOUR.
 
I really shouldn't drink before I go on stage.
 
After the pairings draw it was time for the music, the band Better Than Ezra. I was hanging out backstage with Tim Petrovic who informs me he's going to get up on stage and play with the band. SWEET!
 
Here comes John Daly. He wants a hug and now he's coming in for a kiss! Oh dear God, he ain't backin' down ... POW! Plants one right one the kisser! Now I need a tetanus shot and fast. I am feeling very dirty right now ' even writing this makes me feel ... itchy.
 
What I'm not telling you is the look on my best friends face as this night is unfolding. I tell you, watching him was even better for me than it was for him. He's screaming at me now, 'No way dude!' Eating, drinking and being merry until about midnight I tell him we have to get back to the hotel and get some sleep; he was caddying for me in the pro-am the next day. I thought he was going cry, or break my ribs hugging me.
 
See, Jose loves to live through me. He's a full-time cop with a wife and four kids. I love his family. As an only child he's my brother; I've known him since I was 8. He was the one who got me into comedy, he was the one who told me I'd make a great caddie, and he's the one who tells me when I get famous he wants to be my 'head of security.'
 
He had always dreamed of caddying someday and now he was getting his chance and the best is yet to come.
 
We showed up at the golf course around two hours early for the 12:20 p.m. tee time. Man, did my fellow caddies have a lot of ribbing for me! Then here comes the media. Now I seriously know how a player feels when he has to warm up and a bunch of knuckleheads (myself included) want to come up and 'chat.' I will never do that to a player again.
 
I end up playing with 2005 champ Petrovic. I give him a little ribbing for 'not really PLAYING' the guitar on stage with the band, just flinging it behind his back and throwing the pick to the crowd.
 
'Did Elvis ever really play his guitar on stage?!' he replied.
 
You're no Elvis, Timmy, but I love ya anyways.
 
So we go to the first tee just in time to meet our other playing partner, who just happens to be Drew Brees, quarterback of the New Orleans Saints.
 
Well, they won't let me turn this column into a book so I'll tell you the Cliff's Notes version.
 
I have never been so nervous hitting a tee shot in my life. We started on No. 10, which is 390 yards down wind, making driver too much club. Drew gets introduced to a long, loud ovation. I get my intro... crickets. I laughed and then almost threw up bending over to put my tee in the ground.
 
Jose says, 'Relax, it's gonna be great.'
 
I pop up the 3-wood and hit into the bunker right. I did calm down and really hit it well off the tee for a while.
 
Drew is awesome (and I'm an Eagles fan) and plays to a single digit handicap ' and he hits it LONG. I did hit it by him a couple times, until my driver broke on our back nine.
 
We threw a football around on the course and ended up getting put on the clock, IN A PRO-AM (oops)! I made some really nice putts (these greens are going to die by Friday if they don't water them). Drew made a couple of birdies. We hit every tree in the fairways on the back nine. Even Drew's agent (Chris) is cool. He played, too; he's a hack just like most of us.
 
By the end of it all, my best friends back and knees were killing him ' and I brought my CARRY BAG! Guess two boxes of balls and rain gear wasn't really necessary.
 
We didn't 'win' the pro-am, but I got pictures with my best friend, Drew Brees, and Tim P., so it's a win for us.
 
Now, as I write this, I gotta get some sleep cause I gotta 'work' Thursday. Jose is passed out in the bed next to mine. Wait until you see the pictures we get Friday night on Bourbon St.!
 
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