'An Absolute Travesty' European Legends Won't Be Ryder Cup Captains - Billy Foster
Billy Foster says it's "incredibly sad" that the likes of Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter will never captain Europe in the Ryder Cup after the trio opted to resign from the DP World Tour and effectively end their association with the biennial contest.
A sports arbitrator ruled in favour of the DP World Tour against 12 LIV Golf players who appealed Keith Pelley's decision to issue fines and suspensions for teeing it up in the inaugural event on the breakaway circuit in June last year.
The three-person Sports Resolutions UK panel upheld the Tour's conflicting-event release regulation and Pelley's right to use it when appropriate to hand out future or retrospective sanctions.
Rather than risk further financial punishment, a number of LIV players quit what was formerly the European Tour, including Westwood, Poulter, Garcia and later Henrik Stenson, meaning none of them will ever be able to captain Team Europe, even if they do return to the Tour one day.
Foster, who caddies for Matt Fitzpatrick but enjoyed spells working for Westwood and Garcia previously, expressed his dismay at how the saga has unfolded.
"Something needs to be worked out. For me personally for what’s just happened - to Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter - I think it is incredibly sad," Foster said. "You can understand both opinions, I am not saying they should or they shouldn’t.
"I think it's an absolute travesty that those players, two of whom I caddied for, are not going to be Ryder Cup captains. I think that's incredibly sad for what they've done for the European tour and for what they've done over the years.
"I know people say they had a choice, they made their bed and they have to lie in it but they are in their late 40s and they’ve been offered an easier life for more money and less tournaments.
"You can't blame them but they’ve still got a lot to give for the European Tour. So I think it's incredibly sad."
Westwood, an 11-time veteran of the Ryder Cup, hit out at Pelley after resigning his membership, saying he didn't "want to play under that sort of regime." Foster has been in contact with his former boss but didn't reveal any specifics of their conversation, although admits he can see both sides of the argument.
"I’ve been in communication with Lee last week. That will stay private but basically what I’ve just said. It is very sad it’s come to this. It’s wrong but that’s my opinion," he added.
"I totally get the other side of the opinion. I get it. But for me personally, for having grown up for 20-30 years, with these lads and seeing what they've done, to see it come to this is incredibly sad."
Billy Foster was speaking to BoyleSports about Golf Betting.