With a new caddy dynamic and a first European Tour win under his belt since 2014, Lee Westwood is keen to ride his momentum into a return to next year’s Masters Tournament having missed out on a trip down Magnolia Lane earlier this year for the first time since 2004.
The Englishman clinched an emotional victory at the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City in South Africa earlier this month and with it moved back into the top 65 on the Official World Golf Ranking – edging closer to the top 50 which will punch his ticket to The Masters. With the big-money Middle East swing to come in January there will be plenty of World Ranking points on offer for Westwood if he continues to play well.
“I’ve finished second at The Masters a couple of times and third once and it’s one of those special places,” said Westwood. “Augusta is a little bit like Sun City in that it’s a golf course that once you get the hang of it and understand the places where you can hit the ball – even if you’re not playing well you can see your way around it and compete that week. So I’d love to be back in the Masters, it’s a special week. I think putting everything together it’s probably my favourite tournament.”
Westwood won with his girlfriend, Helen Storey, on the bag in South Africa, one week after he parted ways with long-time caddy Billy Foster.
“Lee wanted to work differently to everything we had ever done, which basically meant me just carrying the bag,” said Foster. “I struggled to adapt to that situation as a caddie, and it created a bit of an uncomfortable atmosphere on the course.
“Ultimately it was no good for Lee and not fair on me either. So unfortunately the partnership had run its course and we both knew that. It has been a great 10 years of my life with Lee and we had many special times and successes together.”
“I can only wish Lee good luck moving forward – although I do feel he could have waited more than a week before winning a million dollars at Sun City!” – Billy Foster
Going forward Westwood gave no indication that Storey would be his full-time caddy and he has used his son, Samuel, on the bag during some weeks of the latter part of last season while Foster looped for Matt Fitzpatrick at the DP World Tour Championship.