Lee Westwood Splits With Long-Time Caddie Billy Foster
By Jake O'Reilly
16 November 2012 10:35
Lee Westwood has announced that caddie Billy Foster will not be making a return to his bag when he recovers from injury, with Martin Kerr being handed the full-time job.
Foster has been out for the past six months with a cruciate knee injury and Westwood had originally said that the bag would be waiting for him on his return.
However, Foster has been recently advised that he will only be able to work alternate weeks and the world number four wants more stability on the bag in his bid to win his maiden major.
"Billy was extremely disappointed, as you can imagine," said Westwood’s manager, Chubby Chandler. "He’s just had the most boring six months of his life. But Lee is at that stage of his career where he has to be a little bit selfish. He’s only got four or five prime years left and he simply can’t afford to mess about with this one coming up.
"Billy hopes to be fit enough at the start of next year to caddie for one week and then have one week off. But Lee is playing six tournaments in a row, starting in Dubai next February, and you can’t have Billy one week and then another caddie the following week.
"It was a difficult decision because we all know how good Billy is as a caddie and they’re great mates as well."
Westwood’s hand was forced after his stand-in caddie, Zimbabwean Mike Kerr, was offered a full-time job by Sergio Garcia. Caught in the middle, Westwood had to make a tough decision and went for the certainty of Kerr over the uncertaintly of Foster.
It is hard not to feel sorry for 46-year-old Foster, who will need his trademark sense of humour to overcome this setback. If he can get himself fit, Foster should be in demand, having previously caddied for the likes of Seve Ballesteros and Darren Clarke.
He even caddied for Tiger Woods in his prime on a couple of occasions, when Steve Williams was unavailable.
The split completes a dramatic year for Westwood who first announced that he was going to live in America at the end of this year, before then parting company with his coach, Pete Cowen.