Zaven Collins, Arizona Cardinals LB and J.J. Watt’s caddie

Feb 8, 2023, 12:19 PM
Arizona Cardinals LB Zaven Collins chats with PGA pro Jon Rahm and retired NFLer J.J. Watt on Wedne...
Arizona Cardinals LB Zaven Collins chats with PGA pro Jon Rahm and retired NFLer J.J. Watt on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, in Scottsdale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

SCOTTSDALE — Zaven Collins, starting inside linebacker or premier caddie?

The MIKE linebacker was a surprise addition to the Annexus Pro-Am at the 2023 WM Phoenix Open on Wednesday despite being left off the celebrity list.

But instead of teeing it up alongside newly retired teammate J.J. Watt, Collins was on the future Hall of Famer’s bag for the event.

Luckily for Watt, Collins knows a thing or two about being a caddie, having served as one at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa growing up.

How much that helps Watt among a sea of fans and fellow celebrities covering TPC Scottsdale remains to be seen, though.

“J.J.’s going to be really freaking nervous today,” Collins said. “I get scared with three people on the tee box that I’m playing with. … We’ll see. Playing on the field is a lot different than playing on this field.”

“I actually gave J.J. a tip the other day that he said changed his golf game completely,” the LB added.

Golf has served as a bonding moment for Collins and Watt, who have played multiple times since the pair showed up in the desert in 2021.

Their outings have led to some memorable moments, none more than Collins’ punishment of rolling down the fairway as a rookie for forgetting Watt’s breakfast.

But when it comes to who reigns supreme on the links? Collins knows he has the upper hand — even if Watt disagrees.

“Today hopefully it’s J (playing well) but most of the time it’s me,” Collins said while Watt disputed the claim. “Most of the time when me and J play it’s laid back, but he does have some strict rules.

“He’s definitely gotten better over the last year and a half that we have been playing. I’m usually getting after him on the course when we play.”


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Zaven Collins, Arizona Cardinals LB and J.J. Watt’s caddie