McGinley 'Staggered' Koepka And Caddie Got Away With Rules Controversy

The Irishman made the comments on The Golf Channel following the incident in the first round of The Masters

Paul McGinley in action during the 2022 MCB Tour Championship - Mauritius
Paul McGinley has spoken out on the first-found incident involving Brooks Koepka's caddie
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Paul McGinley has expressed his amazement that a seemingly controversial incident involving Brooks Koepka’s caddie during the opening round of The Masters wasn’t found to be a rules breach.

After Koepka’s second shot on the 15th at Augusta National, his caddie Ricky Elliott appeared to say “five” to Gary Woodland’s caddie Brennan Little, which seemed to suggest he had advised his counterpart on the club Koepka used. 

That would have been a breach of Rule 10.2a of the Rules of Golf, which states: “During a round, a player must not give advice to anyone in the competition who was playing on the course.” In that instance, the caddie is an extension of the player, meaning Elliott would have breached the rules.

However, after questioning Elliott, The Masters Committee didn’t see it that way, and, in a statement, said: "All involved were adamant that no advice was given or requested" and that there had been no breach of the rules.

However, those denials of foul play baffled McGinley, who said: “It’s very obvious. It’s staggering that they’ve denied it because the evidence is there."

McGinley then went on to suggest that the Committee could have used the incident as an example to persuade others from breaching the rule, but chose not to. He said: “If the authorities want to stamp this out and really come down on this and make an example of it and obviously they haven't. They've chosen not to do that and it looked very clearly the evidence was against them."

Unsurprisingly, The Masters has far more attention than most tournaments and its website shows every shot of every player, so it’s highly likely any incident of contention will be scrutinised. 

Still, McGinley said that where it comes to Rule 10.2a, it’s simply not something most pay much heed to. He said: "I don't think there's a player in the field hand on heart who could say that they or their caddie at some stage hasn't either taken the hand off the club so the other player could see it or something. I's just not seen as a serious breach."

The incident between the caddies wasn’t the only contentious issue 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 rules breach.

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.