Westwood splits with caddie Foster, coach Johnstone


Trying to find the right combination to win his first major, Lee Westwood has reportedly parted ways with both injured caddie Billy Foster and newly hired short-game coach Tony Johnstone.

According to a report Thursday in the Daily Mail, Westwood was holding out hope that Foster, who tore the ACL in his knee during a soccer game in April, would return at the end of the season, but the caddie’s knee is still not yet strong enough.

Mike Kerr has filled in for Foster since August, but the relationship grew complicated when the Zimbabwean recently was offered a full-time gig with Sergio Garcia, according to the report. Westwood opted instead to keep Kerr.

“Billy was extremely disappointed, as you can imagine,” said Chubby Chandler, Westwood’s manager, according to the report. “But 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.”

For Westwood, it was the latest shakeup in a year full of them. Earlier this year, the world No. 4 announced that he was moving to South Florida. Then, after the PGA Championship, he fired swing coach Pete Cowen and hired Johnstone, a short-game guru. But that relationship soured, according to the Daily Mail, after the Englishman’s chipping woes during the final round of the WGC-HSBC Champions, where he tied for sixth.

Said Chandler, according to the report: “It just wasn’t working out.”