“It’s more than giving distance and handing a club or a driver to the player: it’s also about saying the right thing at the right time when emotions are getting the upper hand. The caddy is like a jockey, and every now and then he needs to pull the reins or use the riding crop”.These are the words of Billy Foster, one of the tour’s most experienced caddies.The Ryder Cup he will never forget was 2006 at the K Club in Ireland.He caddy for Darren Clarke six weeks after his wife died.
Ryder Cup, history
“It was the most exciting Ryder Cup of all time,” says Foster.“As always I focus on the information I have to always put the perfect club in the player’s hands, read a putt, find the right part of the green based on the wind direction and the position of the flag”.Then there are the moments where you have to cheer on a player, those where you have to know what to simply say and those where you have to be silent.When Darren Clarke potted a twenty-yard putt at 12 to go 4up against Zach Johnson, I thought his thoughts had gone elsewhere: on winning the Ryder Cup, thinking of Heather, who recently passed away.He was very tense and struggling so when we got to the tee for the next hole I said to him, ‘Darren, take a minute; lace up your shoes or do something to lower your heart rate and “get back” to what you are doing”.I just wanted to keep him on the ground, keep him from flying off..
all I was trying to do was get him over the finish line.
Eventually he succeeded, but it was tough. This is also what a caddy does.Darren broke down in tears on the 16th green with 10,000 people around the green and in the stands.Watch the video of that win hereEurope beat the United States by 18 and a half to 9 and a halfIt was a brilliant Ryder Cup.89 days to that of Rome.