Exclusive Interview With Billy Foster

Exclusive Interview With Billy Foster: 'Matt Fitzpatrick had a disappointing start to the season'

7 min

Billy Foster, in an exclusive interview with CasinoAlpha experts, provides insights into Matt Fitzpatrick’s game ahead of The Masters. Foster acknowledges Fitzpatrick’s recent struggles but highlights improvements, especially in driving, suggesting a positive trajectory for the upcoming tournament. Regarding Fitzpatrick’s approach to Augusta, Foster emphasizes working on weaknesses and strategic preparation, particularly in avoiding trouble spots on the course.

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How’s Matt Fitzpatrick’s game shaping up ahead of The Masters?

BF: “He’ll be the first one to say that he’s had a disappointing start to the season. He’s put a lot of graft in and he’s working very hard and not had the results. I had a sit down meeting with him three or four weeks ago, telling him that it’s not as bad as he thinks. He gets into a good position sometimes but then he’ll have a bad day on the greens. There’s just a couple of bad shots that have cost him.

“He showed signs at The Players Championship, he drove the ball really well as I’ve seen him drive it in years so I think things are dropping into place, hopefully at the right time.”

He’s been around the top 10 in Augusta in the last few years, is there anything he’ll do differently to take that next step and win the Green Jacket?

BF: “Not really. He’ll just be working on his weaknesses. There’s nobody that looks into stats and analyses his game more than he does and if he can do a couple of things that makes his game 0.1 per cent better than it is, he’ll be doing it. He’ll just keep improving in the next five or six years. He finished in the top 10 last year so he’ll be hoping to be in the mix this year too.

“It comes down to that back nine and making the right shots at the right time, it’s fine margins. There’s some things that go against the best golfers, someone like Lee Westwood could have won two or three Green Jackets but things went against him and he missed putts at crucial times. It’s just that bit of luck that you need, all you can do is try to stay in contention.”

One area that might make a difference?

BF: “Augusta is all about knowing where not to miss it. Even if you hit a poor shot to 35 feet, if you’re on the right side of things, it’s never an issue. I’ve been around Augusta for 30 years and you know as soon as the ball drops that you can be struggling to make bogey or double bogey.

“Matt will be doing his homework and his prep and hoping to get in the right spots. If he does end up in the bad spots, he’ll be practicing chip shots from areas that he doesn’t want to be in.”

Quite in the character in full swing?

BF: “I saw the episode with him and his brother and thought he came across really well. You could answer that better than me in terms of the impact Full Swing has had on golf. I see Matt everyday so it doesn’t mean much to me.”

Relationship with American fans?

BF: “He’s Bernhard Langer’s lovechild. He’s the ultimate professional and he doesn’t rustle any feathers. He’s very polite and respectful. Fitzy is always on the right side of the law in terms of respect from the fans.”

LIV-PGA merger, is it getting any closer?

BF: “I don’t think so, no. I don’t think they’re any closer than what they were. I might be proven wrong. LIV is LIV and the PGA Tour is the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour think they’re bigger and better than anything. I think the LIV Tour will carry on but there needs to be a solution.

“People think that the European Tour should collaborate with LIV and you’d have a World Tour that would rival the PGA Tour but whether that ships sailed, I’m not sure. It could end up being a costly decision from the European Tour. I’ve been around it for 40 years, 20 years ago it was absolutely brilliant. It’s all such a shame.”

Is Rory falling out of love with Golf? He’s been the front man for the PGA Tour and has taken a step back…

BF: “I don’t think he’s taken a step back. He’s still playing a lot and he’s a fantastic player. As long as he’s healthy for the next few years, he’ll be one of the top 3 in the world. He drives the ball better than anyone on the planet. His desire is still there.

“Unfortunately, he’s been put in a shitty situation where he’s taken his eye off the ball and concentrating too much on politics instead of golf. It might be best for him to get on with his golf and leave the politics to other people. He’s still an unbelievable golfer and I don’t doubt his desire and he’ll be challenging at The Masters.

“Him and Shane Lowry were the most vocal people in the locker room at the Ryder Cup. He’s a strong character and his heart is still in the game.”

Rory linking up with Butch, what do you make of it?

BF: “I don’t know much about it but it’s nice sometimes as a player to have a fresh set of eyes observing your game. I’ve caddied for Fitzy at 25 events in the last year but I don’t know if his ball position has carried back. Butch might just see something straight away because he doesn’t see Rory all the time.”

Fitzy said that Golf Rankings are skewed and not a true representation of the game, what’s your take?

BF: “100 per cent. I don’t know how the system works but it’s all biased towards America which is rubbish. The European Tour has been absolutely destroyed by it. It’s so difficult to build ranking points on the European Tour, all the points go to America.

“Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Talor Gooch, Phil Mickelson, Joaquin Niemann, Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel – there’s 10 Masters wins between that group.

“Out of Rahm, Johnson, Koepka, Niemann and DeChambeau, they’d all be top 15 in the world so absolutely the ranking system is a load of rubbish.

Scottie Scheffler is getting compared with Tiger after his Players Championship win, what do you make of that?

BF: “Scottie is the White Tiger isn’t he? I don’t know if you saw Tiger’s results between 1999 to the middle of 2001 and he’d got so many wins, at least over half of the tournaments he played in, he’d won and then if he wasn’t winning he’d be finishing in the top 15. I mean, that’s ridiculous!

“People forget how dominant Tiger was. Scottie is an incredible player, he’s not in the same postcode as Tiger as of yet but I’ve got to hand it to Scottie. I’ve seen him play quite a lot over the last few months and he’s a brilliant player.

“He’s number one in the world for a reason. He’s so consistent even when he’s break dancing just as he hits the ball, sometimes he has one foot up in the air but he’s an amazing talent.”

Is there a difference buzz behind the scenes at a tournament when Tiger is at a tournament compared to when he’s not because he’s a big figure isn’t he?

BF: “Tiger always is. Even if he plays in crutches, he’d still raise the bar. He’s the best thing that’s happened to golf. He made the sport twice as popular as it had been before and doubled tournament prize money. Every player should have a portrait of Tiger in his house and bow to him every morning because he’s made them all multi-millionaires. We won’t ever see anyone like him again.”

Justin Thomas splitting from Bones, is it a bit last minute?

BF: “You can always change your fortunes before a tournament, I don’t know whether it’s last minute but when things aren’t working, I’ve had my battle scars from past players and if it’s not working out and if you’re not playing well, normally the caddies are in the firing line. If Justin wants to try something different and shake things up, that’s his call. It might be the best for both parties, you never know.

“Bones is a similar age to myself, he’s got back issues so he might go back into TV, I’m not sure, I’ve not spoken to him. He’s had a great career and if he moves into TV, he won’t look back.”

Are you thinking about your future?

BF: “You do, don’t you. I’m 58 and the 60s are approaching sooner than you think so I have to be thinking about what I’ll be doing in five years. I can’t be jumping on the plane and carrying the bags all the time. It’s difficult because of my arthritis and I’m getting older. It catches up with you so there will be a day at some stage where I might morph into a bit of a job share, that might be a possibility.

“I’ve been a golf caddie on the tour since I was 16 so I’m a gypsy and I’m a traveller so it would be weird to stay at home, it would drive me insane.”

Do you think Tiger will be thinking about packing it in?

BF: “It’s like going to the supermarket and buying lettuce, everything has got a sell by date. Tiger’s sell by date will come. I’d love to think, apart from Tiger Woods, that he’ll have had a false leg by now but fair play to him. His passion and desire and his work ethic to train hard, trying to get back. Something inside me makes me think he’ll win another tournament.

“If he can start playing 8 to 10 tournaments a year, that would be great!”

Anthony Kim, scam artists that are hindered his career, he’s now back at LIV, have you seen that where young players get taken advantage of?

BF: “It happens in every sport. In football, people get affected by money, people have false friends around them and then they play poorly. It’s not golf, that’s just life.”

Who else is going to feature come Sunday?

BF: “I think it’ll be the usual suspects. Joaquin Niemann is playing as good a golf as anyone. Taylor Gooch can be a dark horse but you’ll be looking at the likes of Scheffler, Rahm, Brooks and Rory, they’ll be the usual suspects. There might be one or two lads that you might not expect will be in the mix and I hope Fitzy is in the shake up coming into the last nine holes.

“Augusta is always about slowing your thought process down. You can’t rush things and make bad mistakes because you haven’t thought it out properly so you need to take that extra bit of time. Augusta can be the brutalist course on earth. You might pitch a shot a foot from your playing partner but you can end up in a worse place to the hole and it’s these fine margins at Augusta that can make a difference. It’s a caddies nightmare!

“As long as I’ve got my job in tact but the end of the 72 holes with a beer in the clubhouse, that’ll do for me. It’s a caddies graveyard in Augusta.

“The Ryder Cup is a different pressure because it’s a team tournament but if I had to choose one solid tournament, the pressure at the Masters, it doesn’t get any tougher than the last nine holes at Augusta.

Adina Minculescu
AuthorAdina MinculescuSenior Author & Editor at CasinoAlpha

Adina’s analytical way of thinking is what gamblers need to understand the casino market. With her expertise in this niche combined with her studies in linguistic typology and hermeneutics, you will get the essential help to make informed financial decisions. Let her be your reliable guide!