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“I felt like it was going to be on the green,” he said. “It dropped it straight down. I made a 6 instead of a 4. And then I three-putted the 17th.”

He tied for fourth, then won his first U.S. Open a year later at Oakmont.

As for that tree?

“That tree is gone,” Nicklaus said.

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FOSTER OUT: Lee Westwood is in good form coming into the next two majors. Now he needs a caddie.

Westwood arrived at Quail Hollow on Tuesday to learn that his caddie, Billy Foster, blew out his right knee while reaching to kick a soccer ball. The worst part about is that Foster had no intention of taking part in a match between a group of European caddies and a local club in Charlotte.

“They asked me if I wanted to play and my answer was I was too old for that. It was too dangerous,” Foster said from the caddie tent, crutches at his side. “I was just there to watch. Before the match, they were kicking the ball around, like I do at home with my boys. I stretched, and as soon as I planted, my knee collapsed. I heard it rip and crack, and I knew I was in trouble.”

Foster had a trainer look at his knee and said it appeared to be a ligament tear.

He said he likely would be out for six to eight weeks, and that’s the best-case scenario. That could force him to miss the U.S. Open and British Open.

Westwood is using Casey Kerr, who caddied for Fred Couples at the Masters. He has not started a search for a full-time substitute while Foster heals.

Foster said it was the first time he was injured since the 1991 World Match Play Championship, when he was working for Seve Ballesteros and his knee locked up on the first tee. Ballesteros won on the 34th hole.

Westwood is No. 3 in the world, and along with winning the Indonesia Masters two weeks ago, he has finished among the top 5 in five of his last seven starts.

“It’s devastating,” Foster said. “Lee is playing as good as he has ever played. I’m just clumsy.”

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