Belfast Telegraph

Northern Irish caddy Ricky Elliott helps Brooks Koepka to third major title at US PGA Championship

By Gareth Hanna

Portrush caddy Ricky Elliott has helped Brooks Koepka to his third major title in two seasons.

The duo secured a thrilling US PGA Championship success at Bellerive after an impressive performance to fight off the challenge of Tiger Woods and Adam Scott.

Koepka, with Elliott on the bag, won the 2017 and 2018 US Open titles and has now added another major title.

The pair had to battle to do it. Woods carded a final round 64 to reach -14 for the week but even that wasn't enough to reel in the in-form Koepka, who made six birdies on his way to a four-under-par round to win by two from Woods and three from playing-partner Scott.

It's another lucrative success for Elliott, who will pocket around $198k (£155k), 10% of Koepka's $1.98m (£1.55m) prize.

Koepka began the day on -12, two clear of the chasing pack and four ahead of Tiger. After an opening birdie, back-to-back bogeys on the fourth and fifth gave hope to the rest.

However, Elliott and his man soon got back into the driving seat, boarding the birdie train on the 7th, 8th and 9th.

The finish, too, was strong with further birdies at 15 and 16 to ensure he wouldn't be caught.

Koepka becomes the fifth player to win the US Open and the US PGA in the same season, following Gene Sarazan, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

Elliott (41) has been on the bag for Koepka for the last six years.

Now based in Florida, he was a successful amateur player in his youth, winning the Ulster Boys' and Ulster Youths' Championships.

He still frequents the links at Royal Portrush Golf Club, where he played as a boy. His parents Pat and Martha still live in the town and his brother Peter owns a golf shop in Coleraine.

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy finished the week on -2 in a tie for 50th place. McIlroy had been -3 after two rounds but a disappointing one over par 71 on Saturday ended his chances of success, followed up by a level par final round.

The highest placed Irishman was Shane Lowry, whose even par round left him on -8 for the week in a tie for 13th.

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