“Conversations with Champions, presented by Sentry” is a weekly series of golf week in conjunction with The Caddy Network, where we take you behind the scenes to chat with the winning caddy of the latest PGA Tour event. This week: Billy Foster, caddy of Matt Fitzpatrick at the 2022 US Open at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Billy Foster has been a caddy for 40 years and has worked for Seve Ballesteros, Thomas Bjorn, Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood. Along the way, he collected 45 wins but never took the biggest one.
But at the 2022 US Open, it was 27-year-old Matt Fitzpatrick who finally brought 59-year-old Foster into the winner’s circle of one of golf’s great championships.
After many close calls over the years, Sunday’s final round began to look like another oh so close major for Foster. That is, until Fitzpatrick drained a long putt on the 13th hole that realigned the stars.
“He missed a four-for-10 for bogey, then he threw three 15- to 18-foot putts, about five-foot putts and he missed. And I just thought, ‘Here we go again. It won’t happen again,” Foster told John Rathouz of The Caddy Network.
“And then he rolled in a 50ft or 60ft or whatever on 13 and I even got pretty carried away myself, which I never do. I never get carried away but I let out a big roar and it brought him back into the tournament. Yes, it was a huge putt, just at the right time.
Fitzpatrick worked hard to make his game worthy of a major championship. He added length off the tee and kept his short game in order. Foster said there were also mental obstacles that needed to be overcome as well.
“You have to learn to lose in order to win. I think it was a big learning curve for him,” Foster said. “I always thought coming to the US Open, if he was going to win a major tournament, it would be up there with his best chance, with his righteousness and he’s put 25 yards in the last 18 months, I don’t know know what’s going on there but he’s getting a bit of a beast We played with DJ [Dustin Johnson] the first two days and he blasted a couple in front of DJ from 30-40 yards and I was like, ‘God, he’s getting attention.’
“But yeah, his all-around game, his chipping has improved tremendously. … sap [Ballesteros] would turn his grave watching. I think he’s in the top 20 in every stat category on the tour, so he’s a very consistent player.