'Would They Have Taken Action On Sunday?' - Faxon Questions Koepka Decision

Both Brad Faxon and Luke Donald gave their thoughts on the recent rules incident involving Koepka's caddie at The Masters

Faxon strikes his tee shot and watches his drive
(Image credit: Getty Images)

One of the big talking points from round one of The Masters came from Brooks Koepka, who didn't just shoot a seven-under-par round of 65 to co-lead, but was also at the heart of a rules' situation on the 15th hole, when his caddie, Ricky Elliott, seemed to mouth the word "five" in relation to what club was used.

The incident caused a huge divide on social media, 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****!"

Now, during the Sky Sports broadcast on the second day of The Masters, both Brad Faxon and Luke Donald have given their thoughts, with Faxon firmly falling into one of the camps on whether or not Koepka should have been handed a penalty under Rule 10.2a.

Speaking to Nick Dougherty, Faxon stated: "The rule says you're not allowed to ask for, or give, advice. It's pretty clear cut, and the rule of club selection, caddies and allowing players to look in their bags. I played in times where caddies would cover the bags with their towels, but it didn't look like Ricky said five, he did say five, that was clear!"

Following this, the eight-time PGA Tour winner then asked if the timing of the incident played a part in the decision, with Faxon adding: "What I do want to ask you guys is, 'if this was Thursday versus Sunday, is Ricky Elliot saying that out on Sunday?' So it can't be situational, right? If you didn't mean to hit it in the water, but it went in the water, you're getting a penalty, right? He meant to say five. Why aren't they taking action today? Would they have taken action on Sunday?"

Koepka is handed a golf club by his caddie Ricky Elliott

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Donald had earlier mentioned: "It's happened out on Tour and, certainly, I don't give out what clubs I'm hitting on par threes, but I wouldn't hide what club I'm hitting either. That one seemed a little bit more clear, so again, you've kind of got to take the word of Brooks and Rickie and that the officials felt comfortable enough not to see it as a penalty." The European Ryder Cup Captain then responded to Faxon's question, saying:

"That's a tough one. They were both playing well. Brooks is playing great and I certainly had it the other way where Tiger (Woods) has hit two clubs more on a par three just to throw other people off, including myself. Again, that's a little bit more of a different rule, the fact the player is playing head games with people who he's playing with."

After the final round had concluded, a statement was released that explained there hadn't been a rules' breach involving Koepka's caddie, with it 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.”

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