Caddie-player duo Billy Foster and Lee Westwood are set for an emotional reunion at Tiger Woods’ exhibition, the World Challenge, next month. The pair split in 2012 after a freak accident that left Foster in crutches for too long for Westwood to wait, despite initially pledging that he’d wait for Foster to recover. Six months later, that dreaded phone call came and it was like a break-up from hell for the longtime looper.
Foster, who returned to work this year caddying for Brendan Grace, and Westwood have mended fences and decided to rebuild their relationship, according to The Telegraph‘s Jamie Corrigan:
Foster took the break-up so badly that many on Tour thought they might never get back together.
But at a recent tournament, the golfer’s manager, Chubby Chandler, arranged a sit-down which resulted in Westwood having to tell Mike Kerr he would have to seek another bag and Foster having to inform Branden Grace that he needed a new caddie.
“Everyone knows that Lee and Billy were a great partnership and it made sense that now Billy is fully fit again that the partnership reforms,” Chandler told Telegraph Sport. “They laugh at the same jokes, are both very quick-witted, and Billy knows when something needs saying to Lee. And, of course, he’s a great caddie.
“So they’ve had their heart-to-heart, sorted out whatever needed sorting out, and Billy will be back on Lee’s bag permanently, starting at Tiger’s event next week. Mike is a top lad, a class act and took Lee’s decision as we knew he would.”
Just about 18 months ago the week of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, Foster kicked a football when his leg gave out, which ended up sidelining the veteran caddie for months after enduring surgery for his shattered right knee.
When the recovery didn’t go as planned, Westwood was forced to make a tough decision and let go of Foster to hire Kerr full-time (if I recall correctly, someone was interested in poaching him from Westy, so he was put in a difficult place).
Apparently, it left Foster to deal with a “personal and financial nightmare” and he admitted to being “devastated.” Come to think of it, I remember thinking it was weird to see Billy back caddying and *not* on Westwood’s bag. I assumed that once Foster had recovered, he’d return to Lee. There was always kind of a sad look in his eyes and he just wasn’t the same. I’m dead serious.
“It felt like my missus had run off with my best mate,” Foster said. “It was probably the favourite job I’ve ever had.”
Considering that Foster had previously worked for Seve Ballesteros, Darren Clarke, Sergio Garcia and, even for one week, with Woods himself, his commendation highlighted their closeness.
As he embarked on a recovery programme overseen by Lancashire cricket physiotherapist David Roberts, Foster paid the bills with after-dinner speaking before eventually returning at Wentworth in May after three operations and 13 months on the sidelines.
After stints with another former employer in Thomas Bjorn and then more latterly with Grace, Foster believes his knee is finally healed. “There’s the odd cracking, but I’m not getting any major grief,” he said.
Westwood has struggled in 2013 and I’m sure he’ll be happy to have his old mate Billy back on his bag. It’ll also be a wonderful sight to see the duo together again.