Fall of Fluff; Tiger Prepares to Part Company with the Moustachioed Doyen of Caddies Who Helped Plot His Meteoric Rise
Byline: ALAN FRASER
TIGER WOODS is preparing to sack his caddie and hand over the most famous and most lucrative bag in golf to another.
Pete 'Fluff' Cowan, who has caddied for Woods since he turned professional three years ago, is said to be preparing for the worst despite protestations that normal service would soon be resumed.
Cowan, missing from the World Golf Championship event in California last week, was contacted on Saturday by Mike Carrick, who works for Tom Kite and runs the American caddies association.
'Fluff told me that everything was fine as far as he knew,' Carrick said.
But everything has clearly been far from fine. Cowan was seen wearing spectacles for the first time at Pebble Beach earlier this season. When asked about his eyesight, he replied: 'I have never needed glasses but my man wants me to try them.' His man then brought in his friend Brion Bell for the Buick International, which Woods won.
Bell, a medical student at the University of San Diego, was in action again last week. Woods explained: 'Brion is going to be on the bag a few times this year, trying to get some money for medical school. It is pretty nice to have an opportunity to help out a close friend.' The world No.1 did little to dispel speculation when asked if Cowan would be caddying for him in the U.S. Masters at Augusta next month. 'I don't know,' he replied.
'Probably, yeah.' There was a vagueness to the response which has fuelled gossip among players and caddies alike.
The Woods job is considered plum among caddies because of both earning potential and profile.
Apart from 10 per cent of prize money and a salary, the caddie of the most recognisable golfer in the world can expect to attract further remuneration from endorsements.
With an annual income likely to exceed [pounds sterling]200,000, the scramble to be chosen could be something to behold.
Top of the contenders is believed to be Tony Navarro, who is currently with Greg Norman. Navarro has always been regarded as a loyal and faithful retainer, though, as the saying goes, money talks and Woods' money will talk louder than that of any other.
One of the most intriguing names to be mentioned is Dave Renwick, a blunt-speaking Scot who comes closer than most to the archetypal image of a caddie.
Renwick, a 45-year-old former offshore oil rig worker from Edinburgh, has been carrying the bag of Vijay Singh for the past three years with conspicuous success. …