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Westwood reunites with caddie Foster

ESPN staff
November 26, 2013 « Shakes-Drayton could miss most of 2014 season | Chartbeat test »
Westwood and Foster were a formidable team for three years © Getty Images
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Lee Westwood has turned to close friend and former caddie Billy Foster as he bids to end his major drought in 2014.

Foster was on Westwood's bag for a three-year period which saw the Englishman win eight times on tour and finish in the top three at six major championships on his way to replacing Tiger Wood as world No. 1 - a position he held for 22 weeks.

But the pair were forced to split 18 months ago when the bagman injured his knee playing football. Westwood hired Mike Kerr as a temporary replacement, but made the move permanent after six months when Foster suffered a setback in his recovery.

But at a recent tournament, Westwood's manager, Chubby Chandler, sat down with the pair for a meeting which has led to them reuniting, starting with next week's World Challenge - an end of season event hosted by Woods at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Chandler said: "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.

"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 [Kerr] is a top lad, a class act and took Lee's decision as we knew he would."

Foster, who injured himself on the eve of the 2012 Quail Hollow Championship, caddied for Thomas Bjorn and, most recently, Branden Grace in his time apart from Westwood. He had previously worked with Seve Ballesteros, Sergio Garcia, Darren Clarke and, for one week, Woods.

It was originally thought Foster would be out for a few weeks, but further scans proved he would need surgery on his shattered right knee. Westwood was forced to make a decision that Foster admitted to leaving him feeling "devastated".

"It felt like my missus had run off with my best mate," Foster said. "It was probably the favourite job I've ever had."

But he now believes his knee has finally healed. He added: "There's the odd cracking, but I'm not getting any major grief."

Westwood, who is yet to win this year, will head to California to join the 18-man invitational field before partnering Ian Poulter at the Shark Shootout the following week. He will then take a break until the Farmers Insurance Open, which begins on January 23.

"It's been a year of transition with Lee, what with moving his family over to Florida and everything," Chandler added. "We saw glimpses of the real Lee Westwood at Dubai [where he finished fifth] two weeks ago and I'm sure that, with Billy back on the bag, it'll all come right again."

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