Gary Woodland And Brooks Koepka Dismiss Caddie Rule Breaking Claims

The American duo explained the rules situation that arose during the first round of The Masters

Koepka and Woodland line up their putts
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A lot has been made of the recent incident involving Brooks Koepka’s caddie Ricky Elliott, with it appearing that Elliott said the word “five” to playing partner Gary Woodland’s caddie, Brennan Little, potentially indicating the club Koepka had used.

However, after an investigation from the Competition Committee, it was determined that there hadn’t been a rules breach, with a statement reading: “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.”

Now, following their second rounds, both Koepka and playing partner, Woodland, have given their views on the incident, with Woodland stating: "At the end of the day, Brooks hit his shot on 15. I asked Butchy if he saw what he hit. He said no. Luckily for us because Brooks ended up hitting 5-iron. 

"I hit 5-iron. I asked Butchy what the club was, and he said it's a choked-up perfect 5. I hit my shot. When we were walking down, I asked Brooks what he hit, and he said 5. If I would have known that, I probably would have hit 6-iron, and I would have hit 6-iron in the middle of the water. Luckily for me, I didn't know what he hit. That's the end of it."

Koepka also backed up what his fellow countryman had said, explaining the video by saying: "When I finished today's round, they were brought in -- like I said, I'm taking my glove off. The last thing I'm going to do is give it to Gary Woodland, the US Open champ. And the funny part about it is I think if he would have known we were hitting five, he would have hit six because I don't think Gary is that short and he's 10 in front of me, 12 in front of me."

He went on to add: "I think what they said was they were signaling to somebody else or he was signaling to somebody of what it was. It wasn't Butchie. Because they asked us what we hit walking down the fairway, so they had no idea."

Koepka shakes hands with Woodland after the second round of The Masters

Koepka fired rounds of 65 and 67 to currently sit top of the leaderboard

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Obviously, as is the way with most things, a lot of individuals within the golf world are divided on the matter, with Paul McGinley stating that “it’s very obvious," before adding "it’s staggering" in relation to how Koepka wasn't dealt a penalty. However, former Caddie of the Year, Craig Connelly, claimed that it "happens every single day, multiple times a round and if there's a caddy on here who says they've never done it, then they're talking s****!"

According to Woodland, he doesn't seem overly surprised with the reaction to the rules incident, with the 38-year-old saying that "they told us inside it was taking a big life. At the end of the day, I didn't hear anything or I didn't see anything. My caddie didn't hear anything or see anything either."

He went on to add: "Usually the caddies are telling the media or TV guys. The TV guys, the boom guys are out every hole, and they're usually telling them, so it's easy to pick it up from there. I don't know if there was a boom guy or not. I have no idea."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x