PINEHURST, N.C. – Jim Furyk made it to the weekend of his 20th U.S. Open on Friday. It will be the 17th time Furyk will play on the weekend, and one LPGA teenager is excited to see the 44-year-old playing an additional 36 holes.
Lydia Ko, 17, is the excited teenager, because in five days she will tee it up at Pinehurst No. 2 in the U.S. Women’s Open with Furyk’s longtime caddie Mike “Fluff” Cowan carrying her bag.
According to Cowan, Ko’s agent Michael Yim from IMG contacted Cowan to see if he would be interested in caddieing for the LPGA phenomenon at Pinehurst.
Because Furyk won’t play next week’s Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour, Cowan would be available. The veteran caddie waited awhile before eventually agreeing to do it.
“Pretty hard to believe,” Cowan said of Ko’s world ranking. “It’s quite an accomplishment, without a doubt. I mean, God almighty, 17 years old and you’re considered to be the third-best player in the world? I’m really looking forward to watching her play.”
Cowan has worked on the LPGA in the past, caddieing for Michelle Wie at Kingsmill in 2004. But even with limited experience on the women’s tour, Cowan is not concerned.
“I don’t even know what she expects out of a caddie,” Cowan said. “I’m just going to go out and have fun and try to do the best job I can for her.”
Jimmy Johnson, who caddies for Steve Stricker, also has caddied on the LPGA tour for Wie and doesn’t think Cowan will have any issues next week.
“I think the ladies depend on their caddies a little more at times, overall,” Johnson said.
Even though Cowan has a weekend with Furyk, who starts Saturday tied for 33rd at 3 over, he will take full advantage of the time to prepare for next week.
“It’s obviously going to be played from different tees, and I’ll have to do some figuring out to be able to supply her with numbers and stuff, but I think it’ll be somewhat of an advantage,” Cowan said of having caddied this week. “I’ve walked this golf course quite a few times – not the way it is today obviously, because it’s changed, but a lot about it has not changed. The greens still have all the run‑offs and roll, little funny places, and I think I’ll be able to hopefully guide her away from having that happen a lot.”