PORTRUSH, United Kingdom (AFP) – World number one Brooks Koepka said yesterday having Portrush local Ricky Elliott on the bag for this week’s British Open gives him “more confidence”, but Tiger Woods failed in a bid to join the pair for a practice round.
Koepka arrives in Northern Ireland having won on two of his last four major appearances, while finishing runner-up in the other two.
The 29-year-old, who claimed his fourth major title at the PGA Championship in May, will be expecting to improve on his previous best British Open finish of tied-sixth.
Despite having never visited Northern Ireland before, the American is not having too many difficulties getting to grips with the Royal Portrush layout, as Elliott knows the course inside out.
“I 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,” said Koepka. “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. The spots to come in from, with different hole locations and different winds.”
Three-time Open champion Woods admitted he had been hoping to tap into Elliott’s course knowledge by playing a practice round with Koepka.
“I texted Brooks, ‘congratulations on another great finish’. What he’s done in the last four major championships has been just unbelievable,” said the 15-time major winner.