Caddies Jeff Willett, Brian Sullivan and Mike “Fluff” Cowan all hail from the same small town of Waterville, Maine. However, that’s not the only thing they have in common.
On August 29, Sullivan won the 2021 Ally Challenge with Joe Durant to become the third caddie from the town of 17,000 to win at Warwick Hills in Grand Blanc, Michigan.
“It was great to complete the trifecta and know that all three Waterville boys have now won at Warrick Hills,” Sullivan said.
Cowan was the first to win at Warwick Hills with Peter Jacobsen at the 1980 Buick Open. Willett later followed, winning the same event in 2007 with Brian Bateman.
The win was even more special to Sullivan considering Cowan was the one that helped him starting out as a caddie.
“I’ve known Mike for over 50 years,” Sullivan said. “He was an accomplished caddie, and I was just a novice at the time. I’m nine years younger than Mike, so he helped me out a lot when I was first starting out as a caddie. ‘Skillet’ (Willett), on the other hand, is younger than Mike and me, so we got to know him later on.”
As the youngest of the three Waterville boys, Willett feels as though being from the same town helped him quickly build a relationship with the two veterans.
“I’m 14 years younger than ‘Sully’ (Sullivan), Fluff is 73 and I’m 49, so I never really knew them until I started caddying on Tour, but knowing that we’re from the same town definitely brought us closer together.”
— jeff willett (@skilletsays) February 13, 2021
Willett grew up hearing stories of Cowan and Sullivan since they were friends with his father and uncles in Waterville.
“When Fluff would come into town to play golf with his buddies he would bring me Peter Jacobsen’s gloves and Titleists. One time he even gave me a set of his irons. That’s how I knew Fluff growing up. We talk quite a bit to this day, and when I’m back in Waterville we play a lot of golf together,” Willet said.
“As far as Sully goes, I would hear stories from my uncles about what they would do in high school. When I grew up, we ended up becoming really good friends. We were roommates for almost 10 years and became travel partners, driving around the country to caddie. I’ve gotten to know both of them really well.”
Willett is certainly happy he had the influence of Fluff and Sully to start caddying.
“Caddying is definitely worth it,” Willett said. “I’ve been around the world, been to a lot of cool places, and seen a lot of amazing golf and a lot of great golf courses. Golf’s been a part of my life forever. Caddying is something I love and can see myself doing until I can’t do it anymore.”
Willett is even more proud to be a professional caddie considering he is from such a small town.
“People in my town hardly ever leave, so jumping on a plane every five days and going wherever my pro tells me to go is pretty cool,” he said. “Beyond the money and prestige, being able to travel and see the world is a big deal to me. It’s cool to be able to tell my kids that I’ve been to China and been to Japan and seen the best golf courses in the world.”
Willett caddies for Luke List now, but has been on the bag for a number of guys over the years, capturing a few PGA Tour wins.
Cowan has been Jim Furyk’s caddie since 1999 and was formerly on the bag for Tiger Woods (1996-99) and Jacobsen (1978-96).
Sullivan has caddied for a number of players on the PGA and European Tour and currently caddies on the Champions Tour.