Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Jim Furyk and Mike ‘Fluff’ Cowan part ways after 25 years – Irish Golfer Magazine

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Cowan, 76, now caddies full-time for PGA TOUR pro C.T. Pan. Cowan and Pan began working together at this year’s Sony Open in Hawaii; THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson marks their ninth event together. Furyk, 53, encouraged his longtime looper to work for Pan full-time, he told Golfweek. Cowan initially hesitated but eventually obliged.

“Love the guy,” Furyk texted Golfweek. “I’m still struggling with injuries and I pushed him to work for C.T. full time … (Fluff) was hesitant. Because he’s a great person at heart. But I pushed and we both knew it was best for him and his family.”

Cowan’s nickname “Fluff” first stemmed from a resemblance to professional golfer and broadcaster Steve Melnyk. The mustached Cowan has been a staple alongside the Pennsylvanian for the better part of a quarter-century, with Furyk often praising his longtime caddie for an instrumental role in his success. Furyk currently ranks third on the TOUR’s all-time money list.

“He’s pretty amazing,” Furyk said in 2019. “He loves what he does for a living. He likes coming to work. Everyone likes Mike, and he never changes. Whether I’m shooting 80 or shooting 65, he was the same person on the bag, and you can’t ask for any more than that.”

Cowan’s storied career has also included stints with Tiger Woods, Fred Couples and Peter Jacobsen. The Maine native, who was an assistant golf professional in Maine before becoming a caddie, was inducted into the Maine Golf Hall of Fame in 2005.

Furyk, a 17-time TOUR winner, now plays mostly on PGA TOUR Champions, although he has made just three starts in 2024 due to injuries. Furyk also hosts the Champions Tour’s Constellation FURYK & FRIENDS each October in his adopted hometown of Jacksonville, Florida.

“It’s hard to part ways after 25 years,” Cowan told Golfweek. “Sometimes the right thing to do is staring you right in the face and you’ve got to have the guts to do it.”

After striping a 7-iron on the 72nd hole to clinch the 2003 U.S. Open at Olympia Fields, Furyk waited for Cowan so the two could share the walk to the green, basking in the well-earned glory. The duo hugged after Furyk putted out for a three-stroke win in Chicagoland. Tears welled in the eyes of both Furyk and his caddie, amidst a shared dream.

Earlier this year, Cowan was asked about the key to happiness. He paused for a few seconds before offering a simple yet profound response.

“Doing what you enjoy,” he said. “Pretty simple as that in my mind. Money is a wonderful sidelight, but money is not what makes you happy. You have to do things that you enjoy, and let the bad times roll off your back. Just continue to continue. Just keep on keeping on.”

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