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Jim Furyk, caddie Mike “Fluff” Cowan amicably split after 25 years

Jim Furyk, caddie Mike “Fluff” Cowan amicably split after 25 years

McKINNEY, Texas – For the last 25 years, Jim Furyk and Mike “Fluff” Cowan have gone together like Forrest Gump and a box of chocolates. But all good things must come to an end. Fluff has a new steady bag, working at this week’s CJ Cup Byron Nelson for C.T. Pan.

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

But to hear Fluff tell it, Furyk had to threaten to fire him — “Don’t make me do it because I will,” he joked — before Fluff would officially end what has been one of the game’s endearing partnerships of more than two decades dating to the 1999 Masters. It might be one of the few cases where a player and caddie truly split amicably.

C.T. Pan and Mike “Fluff” Cowan on the seventh the at the CJ CUP (Adam Schupak/Golfweek)

“Love the guy,” Furyk wrote in a text while fishing with his father in South Carolina. “I’m still struggling with injuries and I pushed him to work for C.T. full time.”

The reason was a simple case of economics. Furyk, who has been dealing with injuries that sidelined him for much of last season, is 53 and has been able to make only limited starts on PGA Tour Champions.

“We play for $2 million. They play for $8-, $20-, $25-million,” Furyk said. “I knew it was a good opportunity for him, and C.T. has been playing pretty good (T-3 at the Mexico Open being his best result). (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.”

Fluff hooked up with Pan earlier this season in Hawaii and this week marks their ninth event together. Pan has banked $674,187 so far this season. Fluff worked for Furyk at two senior events, most recently at the Galleri Classic in late March. Furyk has earned $19,464 this season and hasn’t finished better than T-33.

Furyk, who had a friend from his junior golf days in Pennsylvania on his bag at the Invited Celebrity Classic two weeks ago in Dallas, said he expects to play next week at the Regions Tradition in Birmingham, Alabama, a Champions tour major. Who is going to caddie for him? His son, Tanner, a sophomore lacrosse player at Sewanee, is scheduled to work for his old man at 3-4 upcoming tournaments.

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