World No.1 Brooks Koepka admits he will be relying heavily on the local knowledge of his caddie Ricky Elliott when he seeks a first Open Championship title.
Koepka, who has won four majors in his last nine starts and finished second in the Masters, first in the US PGA and second in the US Open this season, has never been to Northern Ireland before, never mind played at Royal Portrush.
However, Elliott is a Portrush native and will provide invaluable local knowledge to Koepka when the Open returns to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951 in a fortnight's time.
"I hope he knows that golf course like the back of his hand," Koepka told a press conference ahead of the 3M Open in Minnesota.
"It's links golf, it's always a bit different. I enjoy it because I see 10, 15 different shots every time I'm over the ball.
"It's links golf, it's always a bit different. I enjoy it because I see 10, 15 different shots every time I'm over the ball.” – Brooks Koepka
"Even from 150 yards you can chip a little 7-iron and have it roll up, you can hit wedge if you want, it's so interesting to me. I enjoy the option of shots that it creates.
"He (Ricky) knows that course probably better than anybody apart from GMac (Graeme McDowell). He's going to have a lot of support, which will be cool.
"It will be cool to go there and to have it in his hometown will be a little more special – but no added pressure. I put enough pressure on myself for those events."
Koepka will take a week off following this week's inaugural 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities, where he will partner former Masters champion Patrick Reed and Kevin Na in the first two rounds.
- Phil Casey, PAA