Wednesday 21 August 2019

Local caddie Elliott key to Koepka's Open hopes


Brooks Koepka and caddie Ricky Elliott. Photo: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Brooks Koepka and caddie Ricky Elliott. Photo: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Brooks Koepka admits he will be relying heavily on the local knowledge of his caddie Ricky Elliott when he seeks a first Open Championship title.

Koepka, who has won an incredible four Majors in his last nine starts and finished second in the Masters, first in the US PGA and second in the US Open this season, has never visited Northern Ireland before, never mind played at Royal Portrush.

However, Elliott is a Portrush native and will provide invaluable local knowledge to the world No 1 when the Open returns to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951 in a fortnight's time.

"I hope he knows that golf course like the back of his hand," Koepka said in Minnesota.


"It's links golf, it's always a bit different. I enjoy it because I see 10, 15 different shots every time I'm over the ball.

"Even from 150 yards you can chip a little seven iron and have it roll up, you can hit wedge if you want, it's so interesting to me. I enjoy the option of shots that it creates.

"He (Ricky) knows that course probably better than anybody apart from G-Mac (Graeme McDowell). He's going to have a lot of support, which will be cool.

"The last time it was in (Northern) Ireland was the 50s so that's cool for everyone in Ireland. I know that there's a big fan base, everybody loves golf in Ireland.

"It will be cool to go there and to have it in his hometown will be a little more special - but no added pressure. I put enough pressure on myself for those events."

Koepka will take a week off following this week's inaugural 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities, where he will partner former Masters champion Patrick Reed and Kevin Na in the first two rounds.

Irish Independent

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