Fluff Cowan Injury: A Tale of Resilience and Unexpected Moments on the PGA Tour

Fluff Cowan Injury: A Tale of Resilience and Unexpected Moments on the PGA Tour

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Written By Joe Martin

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A week ago, Jim Furyk’s son Tanner stepped in as his father’s caddie at the SAS Championship, the regular-season finale of the PGA Tour Champions.

It was a memorable event, as Furyk, with his son’s support, led the clubhouse late on Sunday before finishing tied for third. This situation arose because Furyk’s regular caddie, the legendary Fluff Cowan, was sidelined due to an injury.

However, Cowan was expected to return for the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, the first of three postseason events. Furyk expressed optimism about Cowan’s recovery, noting his significant improvement.

“I’m actually surprised at how well he’s gotten around this week,” Furyk said, reflecting on Cowan’s status. “He really was hobbled last week and wasn’t able to bear a lot of weight. He’s still got a little bit of a limp to his gait.”

Cowan, who had been using a cart during the pro-am, managed to carry the bag for a substantial part of the event, despite still showing signs of discomfort. Furyk acknowledged Cowan’s determination and stoicism, noting, “He seems to be all right, thinks he’s going to be good to go.”

This week, Furyk will need Cowan’s expertise as they face the top 72 players from the Schwab Cup points list. The 54-hole Champions Tour events demand precision and consistency, given their shorter format compared to the 72-hole PGA Tour stops.

“You can have a bad nine holes out on the PGA Tour, you’ve got seven more to kind of catch up. Out here you play a bad nine holes, you feel like you’ve put yourself behind the eight ball,” Furyk explained.

A Rare and Surreal Incident on the Course

Injuries to golfers or caddies during tournaments are rare. However, during the final round of the RBC Canadian Open, an unusual incident occurred. Veteran caddie Mike “Fluff” Cowan fell on the third hole while caddying for C.T. Pan.

In a surprising turn of events, a fan from the gallery volunteered to carry Pan’s clubs. This impromptu caddie switch lasted only one hole before Pan found another spectator to take over.

The scene was both bizarre and heartwarming. Fluff Cowan, who has been a caddie for over four decades and famously carried the bag for Tiger Woods during his 1997 Masters victory, deserved well wishes for his swift recovery. His nickname “Fluff” comes from his iconic mustache, a distinguishing feature of his long career.

Fluff Cowan’s Storied Career

Before his stint with Tiger Woods, Cowan worked with Ed Sabo for three years and then had a long partnership with Peter Jacobsen from 1978 to 1996. Since 1999, he has been a crucial part of Jim Furyk’s team.

Their partnership has been one of the most notable in golf, characterized by Cowan’s distinctive mustache and Furyk’s unique swing. One of their most remarkable achievements was Furyk’s record-setting 58 at the 2016 Travelers Championship, the lowest single-round score in PGA Tour history.

C.T. Pan’s Unexpected Challenges

C.T. Pan, currently fighting to secure his PGA Tour card for next season, experienced a tumultuous final round at the RBC Canadian Open. After Cowan’s injury, Pan had to adapt quickly, enlisting a fan from the crowd to carry his bag. This unorthodox solution, though within PGA rules, was a testament to the unpredictability of the sport.

Reflecting on the moment, the fan, Paul Emerson, expressed his excitement: “I helped Fluff get the bib off, threw it on and started walking up the hole.”

Emerson’s unexpected role, although brief, was praised by commentators and fans alike. He performed the caddie duties for two holes before a professional caddie service member took over, followed by Paul Barjon’s caddie Al Riddell on the 10th hole.

Despite the challenges, Pan finished the Canadian Open tied for 35th place, with Scot Robert MacIntyre taking the title. Pan’s perseverance under pressure, especially with the added stress of a caddie change, highlighted his resilience.

Fluff Cowan’s Legacy and Future

At 76, Cowan’s dedication to caddying remains unwavering. Though he hinted at potential retirement after his daughter finishes college, his love for the game continues to drive him. Cowan’s career, which began in 1976, has been marked by his association with some of the greatest golfers and historic moments in the sport.


Fluff Cowan’s recent injury has shed light on the often-overlooked resilience and adaptability required in professional golf. His storied career, marked by iconic moments and enduring partnerships, continues to inspire. As he recovers and returns to the course, the golfing world eagerly awaits more memorable moments from this legendary caddie.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Fluff Cowan?
Fluff Cowan is a veteran PGA Tour caddie known for his iconic mustache and his long career, including notable partnerships with Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk.

What happened to Fluff Cowan at the RBC Canadian Open?
Fluff Cowan fell on the third hole while caddying for C.T. Pan and had to be replaced temporarily by a fan from the gallery.

How long has Fluff Cowan been a caddie?
Fluff Cowan began his professional caddie career in 1976 and has been on the PGA Tour for over four decades.

What are some of Fluff Cowan’s career highlights?
Cowan was Tiger Woods’ caddie during his 1997 Masters victory and was with Jim Furyk when he set the record for the lowest single-round score in PGA Tour history with a 58 at the 2016 Travelers Championship.

Is Fluff Cowan planning to retire?
Fluff Cowan has mentioned the possibility of retiring after his daughter finishes college, but he continues to enjoy caddying and remains active on the PGA Tour.

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