Phelps No Tiger No Way


Michael Phelps wins eight Olympic gold medals and people are calling him the greatest athlete of all time. Better than Tiger Woods. Seriously? The feat he accomplished is impressive but its swimming in an indoor pool. No wind, no waves, no sharks, not even a dogleg!
I saw an interview with him where he said, Well the conditions were a little different today than in the preliminaries. I almost fell out of the caddie trailer I was laughing so hard. Really? Was the pool 2 degrees cooler? You wanna really impress me, swim in a Florida river.
Going straight, back and forth inside a temperature-controlled building, in a perfect pool (I bet they didnt even let toddlers pee in the shallow end) doesnt get you compared with Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, Emmitt Smith (that is so hard for an Eagles fan to write), Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan and Jesse Owens, whose Olympic running under that pressure and those conditions is still the greatest performance. But lets stick with what I know ... golf.
Is there rough in swimming? Uphill? At least in track if you run more than 100 meters you have to make a little left turn. If Phelps would have swam one of the races on a broken leg MAYBE I could ... naw, even then, Rocco on a bad back is better.
Maybe its because Im in New Jersey this week, so close to New York City Im feeling a bit more cynical than usual. It brings back all those nights in the city waiting to do a seven-minute comedy set in front of four people at 3 a.m. And thats what I consider the good old days.
This week The Playoffs start in Jersey at a course no one on Tour has seen. It feels kinda like going on a blind date to prom. Could be the night of your life ... could be your 360 pound, cockeyed mutant cousin whose profile said, Loves long walks. To where, Burger King? Did she just order a Diet Coke with that Double Whopper and king-sized fries?
This course has three nine-hole courses and holes from all three will be used. There are a lot of different kinds of holes, which I like because you have to be able to move the ball in all directions (including low and high). The biggest pain in the rear for caddies is there just isnt enough time to learn a course like this when the stakes are this high. Learning what the wind does in some of the tree-lined alcoves takes time; seeing what the tendency for putts on a green cut into a hill and trusting those reads can take years.
But thats what may make this prom date the brunette (yeah I prefer brunettes) bombshell youve dreamed of ' think Natalie Portman and Eva Mendes. OK thats my thing, but its hard to argue against that kind of beauty and brains.
That caddie coming down the stretch is gonna have just as many butterflies as his player giving reads and choosing clubs, because at the end of the week some caddie is getting a check for $126,000 (10% of the 1.26 million) and is that much closer to a $1,000,000 bonus. This year the FedExCup is up for grabs and we all know it, but that is for another week. The doorbell just rang, lets go have a look at our date. Keep your fingers crossed.
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. He also has his own Web site,
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