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Lee Westwood loses a caddie and a putting coach with Billy Foster’s untimely knee injury

The Yorkshireman will fly back to Britain and have a scan. The finest prognosis is four to six weeks out of action, which could him return in time for the US Open, which begins on June 14. And if the medics’ news is unfavorable?

“Billy could not only miss this occasion, next week’s Players Championship and the PGA at Wentworth, but also the US Open and the Open,” stated Westwood. “I told him, ‘it’s a very good job there’s no big tournaments coming up, Billy’.”

Behind Westwood’s trademark dry humour is a very true concern.

With Foster alongside, Westwood has amassed six major top-threes in much less than three years, won eight occasions and risen to planet No1.

Foster is so much far more than a caddie, as Westwood’s faith in the 46 year-old’s eye on the greens only emphasises.

“Billy’s an integral part of the team and is extremely important,” Westwood said. “I’m not confident how it will impact me. I have been lucky in one sense, as we found out this morning that Casey [Kerr] is obtainable simply because Fred Couples has caught the flu and will be off for a fortnight.

“I’ll have to see what I’ll do for Wentworth, but I’ll make sure it’s somebody very good. Billy can fill them in on my game.”

What are the chances that Westwood now wins a single of the subsequent two majors?

As Foster has previously caddied for the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Darren Clarke, Sergio Garcia and Thomas Bjorn, however nevertheless claims his personal significant blank, it was not the wisest question to ask.

And as Foster sat there watching his boss strike usually arrow-like drives into the piercing sun, his frustration was clear. Team Westwood believe their man is close regardless of all the doom and gloom which greeted his newest brush with key glory.

“How can third in the Masters be classed a failure,” asked Westwood, who now boast sevens of them in his past 15 majors.

“It’s a positive. Even someone like Jack Nicklaus, who won 18 majors, will be proud of all the second and third locations he had as well.

“And no, it doesn’t make it more hard to take since I have had so a lot of best threes lately.

“The way I appear at it is that I wasn’t in contention at all ten years ago. I have to preserve moving forwards.”

What is the alternative? To weep into his headcovers and rage at the fates?

That is not truly Westwood’s way particularly as the stats inform him of the proximity of the dream.

“The Masters was there to win,” he stated. “I finished two behind and missed four or 5 putts under three feet.

“So if I get myself together on a week like that I could be winning by five or six. I would call that a positive way to appear at it, wouldn’t you?”

Buoyed by his win at the Indonesian Masters 10 days a go — a victory, in which Westwood said, “my putting came together” — the 39 year-old plainly fancies his chances here on this fantastic Quail Hollow layout.

Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are in opposition, but if his brief-stick consents the violins in the background will be wholly inappropriate.

“Listen if any individual out there does feel sorry me and believe ‘poor Lee Westwood, he’s come so close’ they should have a reality check,” he mentioned.

“I get up each and every day and play the best courses in the globe and I make a fortune at it. So I’ve a bit of guidance for individuals who really feel sympathy for me – do not.”

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