Tiger Woods won his first major championship, the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, at the age of 21, in April, 1997. Woods’ victory came less than eight months after his professional debut, at the Greater Milwaukee Open at the Brown Deer Park Golf Course in Wisconsin, the previous August. His caddy at Augusta National was Michael ‘Fluff’ Cowan, so nicknamed by fellow caddies because of his bushy, white moustache and resemblance to former golf analyst Steve Melnyk, who bore the same epithet during his college days.
Already approaching 50 years old, Cowan had previously worked for Peter Jacobsen for 19 years, but joined Woods, with the blessing of his former employer, in the autumn of 1996. Woods once described Cowan as the ‘best caddy in the world’, but their working relationship lasted only until March, 1999, when Cowan was released for ‘undisclosed’ reasons. Nevertheless, Cowan, now aged 71, remains a well-known and well-respected caddy on the PGA Tour and, since 1999, has carried the bag of Jim Furyk.