Golf: Woods parts from 'Fluff'

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TIGER WOODS said yesterday he has parted with Mike "Fluff" Cowan and the Raymond Floyd's former caddie, Steve Williams, to carry his bag.

"Fluff and I have discussed this over the past few weeks and we both feel it is in our best interest to part ways," Woods said in a statement issued through his agent.

Woods said he appreciated the support which Fluff provided and recognised the contributions Fluff made to his success, "but it is time to move on".

Cowan had been Woods's caddie since the three-time US Amateur champion turned pro in August 1996. Together, they won seven PGA Tour events including the 1997 Masters and two tournaments in Thailand.

The caddie change followed reports of a rift between Cowan and Woods, who had turned to high school friend, Byron Bell, to carry his bag during a victory at San Diego last month and at the recent Match Play Championship. Woods at the time explained Cowan's absence by saying that Bell needed to earn some money for medical school.