Brooks Koepka hoping Ricky Elliott's local knowledge will prove vital at The Open
World number one Brooks Koepka is hoping some inside knowledge will prove key for him at The Open this week.
The 29-year-old is hoping his caddie, Portrush man Ricky Elliott, can keep him right as he bids to add the Claret Jug to his our previous Majors.
"Every hole I just step up on. You tell me what to do, you've played it more than anybody. So just let him figure it out. He knows his spots to miss it," said Koepka.
"The spots to come in from, with different hole locations and different winds. It will be -- definitely have a little bit more confidence having him on the bag this week, knowing this golf course so well. But I'm looking forward to it.
"I've never been in Northern Ireland, never played the golf course. He's just told me spots where to hit it. This is where you want to leave it. A couple of holes, you don't hit many drivers.
"Hit five, maybe six drivers, if the wind direction stays the same as it's been the last four days. But just try and avoid bunkers, that's all.
"In links golf that's all I'm trying to do, I feel like that's the biggest penalty you can make out here or biggest mistake. If you can avoid those and put yourself on the right side of the hole, you're going to have a good chance to win the tournament."
So is there a part of Koepka who is hoping to win for Elliott if his hometown?
"There would be nothing cooler," admitted the American. "Put it this way, I don't think when he grew up that he ever thought there would be an Open Championship here.
"And to top it off, I don't think he ever thought he'd be a part of it. And to be caddying and to be able to win one here would be -- he'd be a legend, wouldn't he? He already is. But it would be cool to see him win."
Elliott has been Koepka's bag man since 2013 and even back then he knew it was going to work out, and so it has proved with our Major wins in the last two years.
"I just played The Open Championship, the one that Phil (Mickelson) won, Muirfield," explained Koepka.
"And I was looking for a caddie because I was starting to transition more towards the States. And there were a couple of names that kept popping up, and Ricky was the one that I kind of decided on.
"It was him, and there was one other name. And Claude was like, Why don't you call Ricky first, that might be your best option, go with Ricky.
"I called him. We had about a 30-minute phone conversation. I liked the way he went about things. He was kind of light. He was joking on the phone. And that's somebody I want, I want somebody that's not going to be so focused in all the time.
"My personality, I laugh and joke on the golf course. I know it doesn't look like it, but the camera is not on us all the time. He's pretty laid back. And then the PGA in 2013, I think was the first time he ever caddied for me.
"I think the way he went about things was different than any caddie I'd ever had. The confidence behind what he thought the club might be, the wind direction or what the yardage was, he was dead sure in it.
"He just knew the right things to say, and I think that's what makes a great caddie and at the right time. And playing there for four days was the first time I ever played with Tiger on Sunday.
"He was able to kind of help me through that. And the way we went about that I thought was super impressive.
"And that's kind of when I was, like, All right, this is my guy. And then hopefully he doesn't leave me. But he's not going to leave me for a long time."