News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Given to Fly

September 2, 2007

Given' to Fly: Collins on verge of earning PGA Tour card

TERRE HAUTE — This may be the year.

Don’t stop reading. This is not one of those sappy Chicago Cubs columns.

The wonderful year of the Bears-Colts Super Bowl and the first-place Chicago Cubs, 2007 may also be the year for Cloverdale’s Chad Collins to earn his PGA Tour card.

Collins, who did visit Wrigley Field for a Cubs game in June, is on track to have an amazing turnaround to his season.

This year, a record 25 golfers will graduate from the Nationwide Tour into the PGA, and Collins, who began playing full-time on the Nationwide Tour in 2005, plans to take full advantage of the opportunity.

Collins, reached Wednesday relaxing at his home in Cloverdale, said he’s hoping to climb into the top 10 and secure exemptions for as many PGA Tour tournaments as possible early in 2008.

“After the [Nationwide] Tour Championship [at Barona Creek], I’d like to be in top 10 on money list,” Collins said.

But at the moment, he’s enjoying some rare time at home since beginning the grind of a 21-tournament schedule on Feb. 18.

“It’s nice to be home and relax,” said Collins, who has earned $187,167 so far this season and bought a used Ranger bass boat a few months ago. “I go fishing, maybe play golf a little bit. It’s more relaxed, a totally different kind of golf.”

Collins will hit the road again in a couple of days after the Nationwide was off this past weekend. Up next is the Utah EnergySolutions Championships at Sandy, Utah.

Collins’ season got off to a rather inauspicious start as he missed the cut in 11 of his first 13 tournaments. But the first two tournaments at Australia and New Zealand are long forgotten.

After missing the cut for the ninth time, Collins made some changes. When he arrived for the Peek’n Peak Classic he gave up his TaylorMade Burner driver for a TaylorMade Superquad.

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