Billy Foster relishing Ryder Cup dozen

CUP OF CHEER: Billy Foster, pictured with Lee Westwood the last time he caddied in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in 2010, can’t wait to sample the atmosphere again

CUP OF CHEER: Billy Foster, pictured with Lee Westwood the last time he caddied in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in 2010, can’t wait to sample the atmosphere again

First published in Sport
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BILLY Foster is looking forward to working at his12th Ryder Cup after Lee Westwood made it into the Europe team via a wild-card selection.

The Eldwick-based caddy, who has been back on Westwood's bag all season, admitted it was 'gut wrenching' to miss the last event due to injury, which saw Jose Maria Olazabal's side pull off one of the greatest comebacks to beat America at Medinah.

Prior to that he had only been absent from one Ryder Cup since his first back in 1987, when he caddied for Gordon Brand Junior, but it looked like he might miss out again when the teams clash at Gleneagles later this month.

Some thought former world number one Luke Donald would get the nod rather than Westwood and Europe skipper Paul McGinley admitted the latter had only just edged it.

Keighley-born Foster said: "It was never going to be an easy decision but I'm just happy that Lee got the call.

"In terms of atmosphere, Ryder Cups can make majors seem like monthly medals in comparison. It's a great honour to be there again and I'm really looking forward to it.

"It was gut wrenching not being there last time after busting my knee but that is all water under the bridge now."

By his standards, Westwood - the most experienced on the European team with eight cup appearances - has struggled for form this season, only showing what he is capable of in fits and starts. But righthand man Foster believes he is not far away.

He said: "It's not been a great year for Lee. In April and May he played some great stuff. He did well in the Masters, won in Malaysia and then did well in the Players Championship.

"But he has had a frustrating summer. However, over the last few weeks he has shown glimpses of his old self.

"He shot 63 at Akron (in the World Golf Championship) and led after the first day of the US PGA.

"He's just been hitting a few destructive shots now and then but he's not playing bad golf."

Europe have won the last two competitions by a point and Foster believes the next encounter could be just as close when the sides tee off on September 26.

Having been part of the furniture in the locker room over the last 25 years, he has been involved under a string of different captains.

And he believes McGinley is the ideal choice to guide the hosts in their bid to claim a sixth triumph in seven attempts since 1999.

The Bingley St Ives member said: "He is a great communicator and says all the right things. He will leave no stone unturned.

"He'll be a great captain but he is also an exceptional man."

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