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Koepka withdraws from PGA Tour after NI caddie tests positive for coronavirus


Brooks Koepka (Niall Carson/PA)

Brooks Koepka (Niall Carson/PA)

Brooks Koepka (Niall Carson/PA)

Golfer Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from the PGA Tour after his Northern Irish caddie tested positive for Covid-19.

Ricky Elliot from Portrush has worked with Koepka since 2013 and was on the bag for the world number four’s major victories at the 2017 and 2018 US Open, and the PGA Championship wins in 2018 and 2019.

The withdrawal came after Graeme McDowell also pulled out of the event due to his caddie, Ken Comboy, also testing positive for the virus.

Commenting on his decision to withdraw from the event at River Highlands in Connecticut, Koepka told Golfweek: “I’m going to pull out to protect everybody else. I think it’s the right thing to do.

“I don’t want to risk anyone’s life if they have respiratory issues or underlying conditions.

“The only way this tour can continue is if guys to do this sort of thing and be proactive about it.”

Elliott reportedly spent time with McDowell and Comboy recently, and Koepka played a practice round with McDowell earlier this week.

Koepka’s test came back negative yesterday but Elliot’s was positive.

Elliott grew up with McDowell and is also close friends with Ian Poulter.

He played at Royal Portrush Golf Club as a junior and won the Ulster Boys Championship and the Ulster Youth Championship before representing Ireland at the 1990 European Youths Championship.

Elliot attempted to make it as a pro on the mini tour circuit in America before becoming a caddie.

Meanwhile, tennis’ world number one Novak Djokovic said he was “so sorry” after testing positive for Covid-19.

The tennis star tested positive, along with three others, after playing in Djokovic’s unsanctioned Adria Tour.

Djokovic has been accused of complacency for organising the unofficial charity event without safety protocols, which have prevented the resumption of the main ATP Tour in August.

Belfast Telegraph