The morning after the previous horror, Billy Foster woke up saying: If not, it could have been another kick to the stomach. “

It’s no exaggeration to say that Foster has experienced some Footjoy downstairs. For over 40 years, he has been a caddy for 59-year-olds Seve Ballesteros, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn and even Tiger Woods for a week.

But before Sunday and the glory of Matt Fitzpatrick’s US Open, he was majorless. A member of The Beatles, No. It’s like waiting for one. Don’t worry about the Chicago Cubs’ infamous “Billy Goat Curse.” In the locker room, there was a whisper, “The Curse of Billy Dog”. ..

Westwood missed the playoffs in 18th place at the 2009 Open. Bjorn took a three to get out of the bunker on the 16th at the 2003 Open and went two steps ahead … “One of Thomas took me about six months to get over,” Foster said. Told. “But there were about six or seven.”

It didn’t seem fair to Foster after Fitzpatrick hit the glorious 9-iron from the fairway bunker and closed the victory. At Tee, Foster advised his employer to take three woods when the driver was carrying a trap. “No, I thought I’d go here again,” he said.

Nick Faldo was one of the first to congratulate Foster, but Jack Nicklaus actually called Fitzpatrick shortly after the trophy ceremony on the 27-year-old 18th Green.

“One of the greatest final rounds in the history of the US Open,” Nicklaus named Fitzpatrick’s 68. This means that the “Golden Bear” and the British are the only players to win US Amateurs and US Open on the same course.

“Only me and Jack,” Fitzpatrick said wistfully. “That’s amazing.”

In fact, this has the firepower to bring down Matt and Billy, a veteran who almost gave up his main dream when he and Westwood split four years ago, and Fitzpatrick who refused to accept him. The details of the story that it wasn’t the best. Until this year, no one would have expected Fitzpatrick, who was 11th at 5 feet 8 inches, to beat the major by hitting the ball.

“I remember seeing him play with Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas at the Masters a few years ago,” said Fitzpatrick coach Mike Walker since he was 14 years old. .. “And he hit this wonderful 7th wood when he had only 7 irons against the other two. And I thought of myself. To him, It’s not long enough to live with these. “

Walker was home on the M6 ​​when Fitzpatrick defeated the world’s best Scottie Scheffler and Will Zaratris in one fell swoop. By the time Walker arrived in Sheffield, Foster stood at the clubhouse of the country club and announced in one of his instant speeches, “Matt putt like Edward Scissorhands and somehow still won.” did.

Foster later said that his eyes were still red and he said: But he hit 17 out of 18 greens. It was the best ball-hit display I’ve ever seen. I didn’t think he could do this, but he got much better and overtook Dustin. [Johnson] In the first two rounds. He can definitely be the top 5 player. “

Walker agrees. “He’s in the top ten right now, so the top five is another step,” he said. “He challenged me as a coach and relentlessly always wants the next level. A few years ago, with his conditioning coach Matt Roberts, he sought the expertise of biomechanics coach Sasho MacKenzie. The work we have done has increased the swing speed without changing the pattern or accuracy.

“His club head speed was 112mph, but now it’s 119mph. That’s about 30 yards and means you can compete anywhere. He always has him, even if he has a postponement. And his ticking chipping technique also sharpened his game. Matt put it into play this year. He said he had chipping yips. I thought. He didn’t, but hopefully it will work. “

Extreme work ethic within Fitzpatrick was never a problem – he graphed every shot he played in competition since he was 15 – but confidence may have been. In 2020, he countered the bomb and Gaudi team led by Bryson DeChambeau, saying that “incredible bulk” “ridicules the game.” On Sunday night, Chefler said Fitzpatrick “must have been in the Bryson program.”

“I did a drug test and it was negative, so we’re all fine,” Fitzpatrick said with his cheeks firmly on his tongue. “I’m worried that if I was playing with Will in the last group three years ago, I would be 20 yards late, but I felt comfortable all day trying to overtake him. It obviously gives you confidence.

“I can’t wait to go to St Andrews [for next month’s Open Championship].. I will probably drive all the greens! My team and I said the goal is six majors. “

Foster was, of course, part of those conversations, but even one major, Fitzpatrick made the old Bagman very happy and very wealthy (his £ 2.3 million cut was £ 230,000 (his £ 2.3 million cut). 268,000 euros)) But it was never important with Foster, who wanted to help golfers realize their dreams when they were teenagers.

“I left in 1981 and stayed at the hotel. If there were mice in the middle of the night, they would have been too dirty and would have gone away at a glance,” he said. “I couldn’t afford anything else. But it was worth it. Matt is just getting started.”

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]

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