Brooks Koepka's Caddie Questioned Over Possible Rules Breach At The Masters

Ricky Elliott appeared to give advice to Gary Woodland's caddie at Augusta National, but was cleared of any rules breach

Brooks Koepka and caddie Ricky Elliott during a practice round before the 2023 Masters
Brooks Koepka's caddie was questioned by The Masters Committee after an incident in the opening round
(Image credit: Getty Images)

An incident involving Brooks Koepka’s caddie Ricky Elliott led to suggestions of a rule breach during the first round of The Masters, which later saw him being questioned by The Masters Committee.

After the LIV Golf player’s second shot on the 15th at Augusta National, Elliott appeared to say the word “five” to playing partner Gary Woodland’s caddie, Brennan Little, potentially indicating the club Koepka had used. That led some to speculate that it could be construed as giving advice. 

That was enough for the Committee to investigate further. However, it later released a statement explaining that it had determined there hadn’t been a rules breach. It read: “Following the completion of Brooks Koepka’s round, the Committee questioned his caddie and others in the group about a possible incident on No.15. All involved were adamant that no advice was given or requested. Consequently, the Committee determined that there was no breach of the Rules.”

After Koepka’s round, he was asked about the incident when talking to the media, and said: “We looked at it when we got back in. GW [Woodland] and Butchie [Little] had no idea what we were hitting; they didn't even know because - I know that fact because GW asked me what we hit walking off, when we were walking down. So that's all I can give you.”

That wasn’t the only matter of potential controversy during the opening round. A rules incident involving Collin Morikawa had set social media alight after he marked and replaced his ball on the 6th hole. However, like the issue with Elliott, Morikawa was later cleared of any breach of the rules,

Away from the confusion, Koepka made a mockery of the suggestion that LIV Golf players would be less sharp than their counterparts on other circuits as he followed Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland to tie the lead on seven-under. However, the American thought it could have been even better. He said: “I think I missed a short one on 6, 8, 9, 10, so they were all kind of inside 10 feet. But could have been really low but I'll take it, 7's pretty good.”

In particular, Koepka finished strongly, and he admitted that had been particularly satisfying. He said: “Yeah, it was pretty good. Love to finish with two birdies like that. Just kind of hopefully ride that into tomorrow. You know, putting good, driving it well, just kind of build off all those things, and get myself, you know, in contention with nine to go on Sunday, that's the whole goal.”

Koepka already has four Majors to his name, but is yet to claim the Green Jacket. Away from the incident involving his caddie, his performance in the opening round suggested he could be a serious contender come Sunday evening.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.