On the Links with Will Collins
Saturday and Sunday the Virginia men’s golf team defends its Cavalier Classic title at Birdwood Golf Course. The UVa team tees off at 10:15 a.m. Saturday. Freshman Will Collins will be in the lineup after finishing as the team’s top scorer at last weekend’s ACC Championships. He was 26th overall at 217. Collins is second on the team with a stroke average of 73.38 in seven tournaments and has been Virginia’s top finisher in two of its last three tournaments.
Question: What was the moment when you knew you could compete on this level?
Collins: It was probably after the second round at The Ridges. I played pretty well there.
Question: What has been the toughest adjustment about college life?
Collins: Time management and the school work is a lot different than high school. It is hard to find the time to make good grades and to play golf.
Question: What are your plans for the summer?
Collins: I’m working the UVa golf camps and then I have six or seven tournaments to play in.
Question: What area have you improved the most this year?
Collins: Probably putting. It is a lot more consistent now. Every now and then I used to have a good putting round, but I’ve done a lot of work with coach and I’m a lot more consistent with my stroke. There were a couple of fundamental flaws I needed to change.
Question: What area do you feel you need to work on the most?
Collins: My short game has gotten a lot better, but you can always get better in that area and I need to. To be successful in this game, you really have to be able to get up and down.
Question: Describe your game?
Collins: I’m a pretty good ball striker. I drive it really straight. At River Landing I think I missed four fairways the entire week. I seem to hit it really well and every now and then, if I can get a putt to go in, I do well.
Question: What PGA Tour pro reminds you of your game?
Collins: Stewart Cink and Tom Lehman. Tom Lehman hits it straight and hits a lot of greens. Cink plays really well when he gets his putts going.
Question: Who is your favorite golfer?
Collins: I follow Trip Isenhour a lot because he is from my hometown. I played with him this past summer and that was a lot of fun. I also like to watch Stewart Cink and Stuart Appleby.
Question: How good are you at Tiger Woods Golf?
Colllins: I’m really bad at all video games in general.
Question: Who is the most famous golfer you have played with?
Collins: I played with Trip Isenhour and Paul Gow after they played in the Wyndham (Greensboro, N.C).
Question: How did you get started playing golf?
Collins: I got really mad at my Little League baseball coach and told him I wasn’t coming back to play and started playing golf. I had done it some with my grandfather before that. My Little League coach told me and another kid it was between the two of us on who started at first base for the all-star team. He said it came down to hit contest. I hit better and he picked the other kid to start, so I was mad at him and quit. I was probably 13 when that happened.
Question: What is your favorite course?
Collins: I like Old North State (site of the ACC Championships) a lot because I grew up playing there since it is about 30 minutes from where I grew up. Pinehurst No. 2 is always fun.
Question: What course would you like to play someday?
Collins: Augusta National. I’ve been there before and there looks like there is so much space to hit it, but there really isn’t. I want to find out how much space there really is.
Question: What are your expectations for this weekend … team is defending champions.
Collins: Our goal is to defend the title and then hopefully we’ll get a chance to go to the regionals.
Question: What is your favorite club?
Collins: They are all good.
Question: Hybrid or non-hybrid?
Question: What is your least favorite golf rule?
Collins: Coach and I had this discussion the other day that I probably don’t know the rules as well as as I should, so I guess I could not tell you.
Question: What is one thing no one knows about you?
Collins: I’m an Eagle Scout.