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McNair helps golfer reach U.S. Open


Texans owner Bob McNair has a knack for making good investments in the world of sports and having them pay high dividends.

He brought football back to Houston, founding the youngest football franchise in league.

Three of McNair's homebred Stonerside Stable horses have competed in the Kentucky Derby.

Now, McNair has sponsored a golf pro who will be playing in the U.S. Open.

Bobby Collins picked up McNair as a sponsor in March when the two were paired in a pro-am in Florida.

"We were just visiting and he said, 'You've got a football team, right?' I said, 'Yes, that's right,'" McNair said. "Then he asked, 'You invest in horses?' And I said, 'Yes, that's right.' Then he asked me if I ever invested in any golfers. I told him I hadn't.

"He told me he was trying to make it on the tour and been trying to get some sponsors and not had a whole lot of luck. So I told him I would consider it."

{QUOTE}After playing a round with Collins, McNair made up his mind.

"He shot in the 60s with the wind blowing 30 miles per hour," McNair said. "So I thought why not help this young man out."

McNair's help now is taking Collins all the way to Torrey Pines. The golfer earned a spot in the upcoming U.S. Open as the medalist in the recent sectional qualifier at Jupiter Hills.

"He called me and said, 'Ever since you started sponsoring me my luck has turned,'" McNair said. "He is so excited and I am excited for him."

Collins had considered retiring this year before he met McNair because the golfer had never qualified for a PGA Tour event and having trouble finding sponsors.

"I told him to go over there and just have a good time," McNair said. "I told him not to worry about anything – just have fun."

Collins has tried to qualify for the U.S. Open 12 times. In his first appearance in the tournament, Collins will feature the Texans logo on his golf shirts, caps and a specially made golf bag donated by PING.

"His bag will have the Texans logo on it and his shirts," McNair said. "He's having fun with it and we're having cheering for him."

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