Lee Westwood's caddie: Tiger's lost his aura

Billy Foster on fearless new generation, caddying for Tiger and the several sides to Seve

Charlie Lemay's picture
Wed, 12 Aug 2015

Lee Westwood's caddie: Tiger's lost his aura

Bagman Billy Foster has an impressive CV. He has caddied for Seve Ballesteros, Tiger Woods, Darren Clarke and Sergio Garcia, among others.

The Yorkshireman has been working with Lee Westwood since 2009, with a brief hiatus in 2014 because of injury. 

Foster spoke exclusively to 888sport. 

What are your views on Tiger Woods? 

He’s been a great champion and he’s a fantastic golfer but he’s approaching 40 and all these young kids are coming through thick and fast. They’re stronger, more powerful and not scared of anybody anymore. That aura from 10 or 15 years ago has gone. He will never dominate golf again like he used to.

With Tiger it’s almost like Mike Tyson when he was in his pomp. Often boxers would get in the ring and would be knocked out before a punch was thrown but once Buster Douglas got him the fear factor went with it.

You caddied for Tiger in the 2005 Presidents Cup. What's he like to work with?

He was an absolute gentleman to work for. Everything he said was followed by please or thank you. I ended up having a bit of fun with him and a laugh and a joke. I was very honest with him.

I once said ‘You might be Tiger Woods and you might have all the money in the world and be the best golfer in the world but I wouldn’t swap our lives’. Everyone thinks he’s got a great life but it’s not as a global superstar. You can’t get one minute to yourself without somebody mothering you.

If you had to give him some advice, what would it be?

I’d make sure he had more of a laugh. I think people would like to see him more humble - he looks blinkered at times. Just be more normal and more of a human being. Loosen up a bit.

What are Jordan Speith's chances at the US PGA?

I don’t think you can look past Jordan Spieth the way he’s going. He is a very mature, cool, professional, diligent man who works really hard and does his homework. He’s a good scholar who does all the right things. He is a formidable professional with a fantastic attitude way beyond his years and a short game to die for. He’s going to be around a long, long time.

Tell us about Seve Ballesteros...

He was a very humble man and a generous fella. He didn’t throw his money around but with his time for people he was a quality human being.

On the course he was a fierce competitor frothing at the mouth like a demented Doberman but off it he was a very gentle and considerate man. A special human being. He would go out of his way to help anyone who was sick or poorly off the course, but on it, it was like Jekyll and Hyde. He was a complex character to a certain degree but a genuine man.

And what was carrying the bag for fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia like?

I found Sergio pretty hard. I love Sergio but on the golf course I find him pretty difficult.

Read Billy Foster's full interview ahead of the US PGA Championship at 888sport.com.