Lee Westwood has explained the reason behind his ‘amicable’ split from long-time caddie Billy Foster.
The Englishman brought an end to their ten-year partnership following the Turkish Airlines Open two weeks ago and, last week, ended a four-and-a-half-year win drought by winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Westwood’s partner, Helen Storey, was on the bag for that event, while son Sam was caddied at the recent Andalucia Valderrama Masters, where the 45-year-old finished in the top five.
“Mine and Billy's working relationship had got to a point where neither of us were gaining anything from it and we weren't doing each other any good,” explained Westwood, who has Glen Murray – former caddie of Sergio Garcia – on the bag this week.
“I sat him down and said, ‘This is no good, I'm playing better when you're not there than when you are there, so something's obviously not working’.
“He said to me, ‘Well, I can't caddie for you how I want to caddie for you’. And I said, ‘Yeah, but you'd have done well like that. I need you to caddie for me how I want you to caddie for me’. He wasn't comfortable doing that.”
Recently, Westwood has started giving himself more responsibility with his yardages, which perhaps left Foster – who has also caddied for the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Thomas Bjorn and Darren Clarke – feeling somewhat under-utilised.
“Billy has obviously been out here for years and is very knowledgeable and wants to use all that knowledge to help somebody, and I could see he wasn't happy doing that,” added Westwood, who reached world No.1 with Foster on the bag.
“So it was just one of those things that had to come to an end. We've obviously had a great time the last ten years and been very successful, but I'm 45 now, not 35.
“You can't carry on doing the same thing and expect something different out of him. I tried to change and unfortunately Billy didn't feel comfortable changing with me. It was an amicable split.”
But Foster is already back on the European Tour caddying in Dubai this week for Matt Fitzpatrick, with Westwood in no doubt that he’ll have a full-time position again very soon.
“Billy is one of the best caddies out here, so he'll pick up a new bag,” added Westwood. “He's working for Matt this week, and obviously Matt's done well around here and he'll have a chance. Billy will improve him, there's no doubt about that.”