The College of Wooster men’s golf program enjoyed a long run of success at the national level qualifying as a team for 21 of 24 NCAA Championships events from 1970-93. Mike Collins was in the lineup for three of those 21 appearances, helped Wooster to a pair of top-10 finishes, and earned two All-American certificates.
Collins’ most notable collegiate outing was also his final one, the 1987 NCAA Div. III Championships. At that tournament, Collins stepped up with a 72-hole score of 295 at the Westbrook Country Club at Mansfield, Ohio, placing him in a tie for third-place individually. The first-team All-American opened with back-to-back rounds of 72 and then carded a 77 and 74 over the last 36 holes. Of note, Collins’ finish gave the Fighting Scots a pair of top-three individual placers at the national championships over a five-year span, as teammate Scott Nye also tied for third at the 1983 national tournament.
“It was as fine a performance as I’ve ever seen during my career at Wooster,” the late legendary coach Bob Nye mentioned in the press release on Collins’ play at the 1987 national championships. “From course management to producing good shots, Mike put together four excellent rounds.”
Earlier in his career, Collins earned All-American honors as a sophomore, when he charged back with a final round 72 to finish at 303 and tie for 17th. The final-round score marked a 10-stroke bounce-back from an 82 in the third round. Collins did have a strong start to the national tournament, turning in rounds of 75 and 74 over the first 36 holes.
In fact, Collins’ 72 in the final round was one of the keys in Wooster’s ninth-place team finish, as the Scots started the day in 12th-place on the leaderboard, and went on to climb three spots in the team standings behind the lowest collective score of the day (294).
That same year, Collins had a stellar week at the inaugural North Coast Athletic Conference Championships, helping Wooster finish 20 shots clear of runner-up Allegheny College. Individually, Collins tied for second with a 230, five shots back of Scott Nye.
Over the last three years of his career, Collins averaged 80.2 strokes over 72 rounds, and was the medalist at the Marietta College Invitational as a junior, where he shot a 145. Complete statistics are not available in College archives for Collins’ freshman year.
Collins grew up in Wooster and frequently was around members of both the golf and track and field teams as a youth. His dad, Gordon, served as a professor in the psychology department for 37 years and was a longtime assistant coach with the track & field program.
In fact, Collins joined the track & field team as a senior and earned a letter while competing in numerous field events.
Collins continued his career in the golf industry after graduating from the College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He earned his professional certification from the Professional Golfers’ Association of America, and worked as a PGA professional for nearly a decade. Collins also worked in golf retail management for 10 years, and has been with ADP as a production manager since 2006.
Still an avoid golfer, Collins won a club championship at Berkeley Hills Country Club in Duluth, Ga., in 2004. He enjoys bowling and walking in his spare time.
Personally, Collins and his wife Mandy have a daughter Kasey (19), and call Duluth their home.