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Koepka: I’d rather be back playing Open at Portrush

American’s fond memories as he admits Kent host is not his favourite course

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Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka

PA

Brooks Koepka

Four-time Major champion Brooks Koepka has revealed that he “loves” Royal Portrush ahead of this week’s Open Championship at Royal St George’s in Kent.

The American finished tied-fourth at the Dunluce Links two years ago as the tournament returned to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951, and it certainly left an impact on him as he admitted he now regards the north coast venue as one of the two best courses on the Open rotation.

Koepka’s comments came after he was asked what he made of this week’s venue for the final Major of the year and, after some scathing remarks with regards to Royal St George’s, he used Royal Portrush as a positive comparison.

“This is not my favourite venue that we’ve played. I think Portrush and St Andrews are definitely the favourites,” said the World No.8.

“There are quite a few blind tee shots here, kind of hitting to nothing. Fairways are quite undulating.

“Portrush two years ago, I love that place. I thought that was just such a good Open. A fun golf course to play. Really enjoyed that.”

He also heaped praise on a Portrush native, his caddie Ricky Elliott, who has been Koepka’s bagman for all four of his Major wins and has been a constant support during his rise to the top of the world rankings.

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The pair combine again in Kent this week aiming to break the 31-year-old’s duck at the Open and win his fifth Major title, and Koepka believes Elliott is the perfect man to have at his side.

“Rick is a help anywhere I go. I love that guy to death. I don’t think I would have the success I’ve had without him. He’s a crucial part of the way I game plan,” added Koepka.

“He really understands how I play golf, how I go about things, and he keeps it light out there. We have a good relationship both on and off the course. He knows I’m not going to take it too seriously.

“He can pretty much tell exactly what I’m thinking, what I’m doing, and with that, good things are going to happen.”



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