Final Round  | 34-34=68

Tiger dazzles crowd with a hole-in-one

The loudest ace of the year
The loudest ace of the year

This was Tiger Woods’ ninth career ace and first since he was 16.

Tiger finished his first start with a 68 that included two eagles, one birdie and two bogeys. He was surrounded by the familiar media scrum afterwards.

Why did “Fluff” caddie for Tiger that week? You could say, "Right place, right time."

Mike “Fluff” Cowan was planning to caddie for Peter Jacobsen, a bag he had carried for over 15 years, when Jacobsen had to withdraw due to a back injury. Tiger pounced on the chance. He picked up the phone on the way home from his U.S. Amateur win and called Cowan at his home.

“He asked me if I’d be interested in working some weeks for him, and I said, ‘Yeah, that’d be great.' So I called Peter and told him about it, and he said, ‘Yeah, that’s great, go for it!'" Cowan recalls.

The plan was never for Cowan to stay on Tiger’s bag permanently, only until Jacobsen was well enough to return. But it didn’t take long before Cowan realized he was part of something special.

"It was a few weeks into that stint that I kind of realized just how talented a player Tiger Woods was and was going to become, that I kind of thought, 'My God, loyalty is a wonderful thing and I do believe in it, but I think that I’ve kind of put that on the back burner and watch this kid play for a while,' so I decided it was time to make a move.”

Tiger and Fluff remained a team for two and half years, looping for Woods for seven of his victories including Tiger’s dominating first major win at the 1997 Masters.

Steve Williams replaced Cowan on the bag in early 1999.

Fluff discusses caddying for Tiger and his future
Fluff discusses caddying for Tiger and his future
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I don't want to have Tiger tracks all over my backside.

Tom Lehman, 1996

Woods speaks with media following start
Woods speaks with media following start

Aside from the memorable ace at the par-3 14th hole during the final round, Woods’ performance on the course at the Greater Milwaukee Open was good but not great. It certainly wasn’t near his stated pre-tournament goal of victory. Woods posted rounds of 67-69-73-68 to finish a tie for 60th place, a distant 12 strokes back of winner Loren Roberts.

He’s the greatest talent that I’ve personally been able to watch play.

Greater Milwaukee Open Champion, Loren Roberts, 1996

Roberts' interview after victory
Roberts' interview after victory
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