By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Lee Westwood and his longtime caddie Billy Foster have decided to part ways.
Out the last six months with a knee injury, Foster only began walking again the last two weeks when he got the word Westwood was making a change.
“It's been very difficult these last six months; I've been in a dark tunnel,” Foster told U.K. newspaper The Daily Mail . “We had such a laugh together, have been great mates and were very successful, but it's a tough game for caddies and I've just to focus on getting myself right.
“I'm a strong character and I'll be fine -- I know I will be -- but all this because of a freak accident. I wasn't even playing in the game when it happened.”
Foster suffered the injury when his foot got caught in a hole during a friendly soccer match in April.
Mike Kerr, who was being courted by Sergio Garcia, according to the newspaper, will replace Foster on Westwood’s bag.
“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 agent, Chubby Chandler, told The Daily Mail. "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.”
Foster shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a bag one he’s healthy. He spent the last two decades caddying for Seve Ballesteros, Darren Clarke and Westwood. He even caddied for Tiger Woods on a few occasions when Steve Williams wasn’t available.
Added Chandler: “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.”
Westwood will turn 40 in April and is still seeking what’s been an elusive first major championship.