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Rickie Elliot crowned Caddie of the Year

It’s a prestigious award in the golfing world, and on Thursday night at this week’s caddie evening at the WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan, the vote for Caddie of the Year went to Rickie Elliot, who hails from Portrush.

Elliot has spent the last four years working with Brooks Koepka, the player who was on the Challenge Tour when they met but is now the US Open champion.

Brooks was quick to heap praise on his caddie, saying, “I couldn’t be more proud,” as he readied himself for the first tee photoshoot this morning. The much-coveted white caddie bib is the equivalent of a green jacket from Augusta. It was handed over by Nicola Crowther of HSBC.

Koepka and Elliot joined forces shortly after the 2013 Open at Muirfield where Koepka was playing in his first ever major. His manager, Blake Smith, gave him the names of several likely caddie candidates, but it was Elliot who got the nod and he and Koepka hit it off right away.

On Thursday night, Elliot said that he was “overwhelmed” by his award. “I found the bar and he found the practice ground,” said the award-winner, with cheerful exaggeration.

Pete Cowen, who teaches almost all the leading players of the moment. including Koepka, knows a good caddie when he sees one and says that Elliot is the best: “He couldn’t be more deserving of his award,” he said.

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