Wednesday 16 October 2019

It's a dream come true - Portrush caddie on Koepka win

Brooks Koepka and caddie Ricky Elliott during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament. Photo: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Brooks Koepka and caddie Ricky Elliott during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament. Photo: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Keogh

Portrush caddie Ricky Elliott might be racking up the cash on Brooks Koepka's bag but he insists it's the stuff of dreams just to get a front-row seat and witness golfing history.

Elliott won the Irish U-16 title in 1993 and the Ulster Boys in 1995 as well as Boys international honours before trying and failing to make it as a tour player.

But while he's made close to $1 million (€895,000) in bonuses just for his part in Koepka's four Major wins - including $198,000 (€177,000) of Sunday's $1.98 million pay day - it's the thrill of the battle that gives him most satisfaction.

"I need a beer!" Elliott (42) said as TV crews and reporters crowded around him to hear his views on Koepka's jittery two-shot win.

"He's one of my best friends and I was a massive golf fan growing up as well, so being right beside the No 1 player in the world, walking down the last hole and winning four Majors, it's a dream come true."

Koepka (29) has earned more than $30 million on the golf course, which has made Elliott (42) one of the highest-earning Irishmen in sport.

"It is the most nervous I have ever seen Brooks in my life," Elliott said after Koepka saw his seven-shot lead reduced to just one before Dustin Johnson bogeyed the 16th and 17th to let him off the hook.

Koepka is well aware of Elliott's Portrush background and looking forward to using his caddie's local knowledge at The Open in July.

"He grew up two minutes from there, so he knows the golf course," Koepka said.

"He should know where to hit it. I'm excited to get over there. I've never actually been to Ireland so I'm looking forward to going."

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