Brooks Koepka

The opening round the of 2023 Masters Tournament took place on Thursday. One lingering question surrounding this year’s Masters was how well the LIV Golf members would play. Four-time major winner and current LIV golfer Brooks Koepka answered this emphatically with a fantastic round.

But it wasn’t without controversy.

Koepka came into the tournament in great form if you consider LIV tournaments to be a big accomplishment. He won LIV Orlando individually while his team, Smash GC, finished in second place.

This solid play has impressively carried over into the Masters in the first round. Koepka finished his opening round tied for the lead alongside Jon Rahm and Viktor Hovland at seven under par.

However, there was some controversy surrounding his round involving his playing partner Gary Woodland.

Koepka hit his second shot on the Par 5 15th hole onto the green, giving himself a great chance of scoring well on the hole.

Woodland then stepped up to take his second shot but appeared to receive advice from Koepka’s caddie Ricky Elliott. Elliott appears to mouth the word “five” multiple times to Woodland’s caddie Brennan Little, signifying that Koepka used a five iron to reach the green. Woodland would go on to make a birdie on the hole after also reaching the green on his second shot.

A golf fan posted a video of the interaction, and it appears very clear that Elliott did indeed say this to Little.

There are very clear rules that state both players and caddies are not allowed to share information with fellow players. Doing so could result in a penalty for both Koepka and Woodland.

Many around the golf world took notice of this interaction and offered their opinion on social media.

Augusta National’s Committee looked into this situation after the round concluded. They detailed in a statement no penalty would be issued after everyone involved was “adamant that no advice was given”.

It is plausible that the video of the interaction was taken out of context. However, it is certainly sketchy behavior from everyone involved.

Regardless, Koepka will look to build on his positive moment on Friday in what looks to be far harsher playing conditions.

[No Laying Up on Twitter, The Masters on Twitter]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.