Another major tournament, another rehash of the Brooks Koepka-Bryson DeChambeau feud.
The two golfers, ranked sixth (DeChambeau) and eighth (Koepka) in the world, have been embroiled in a feud dating back to 2019. The feud was known to have started over issues Koepka had with DeChambeau’s slow play, but ahead of the 2021 British Open, Koepka explained why the public quarrel has been long-lasting.
Koepka said it all dates back to a deal they made at the 2019 Northern Trust tournament at Liberty National in Jersey City, N.J.
“We had a conversation at Liberty, and he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain and I didn’t like that, so I’ll take my shots,” Koepka said, per ESPN’s Bob Harig.
KOEPKA vs. DECHAMBEAU: The best moments from golf’s superstar feud
And what was the conversation about?
“He didn’t like that I had mentioned his name in slow play, so we had a conversation in the locker room,” Koepka said. “And then I guess we said something else in the press conference but didn’t mention his name in it, and he walked up to [Koepka’s caddie] Ricky [Elliott], said something. It was, ‘You tell your man if he’s got something to say, say it to myself.’ I thought that was ironic because he went straight to Ricky. Ricky told me when I came out, hit a few putts, and then just walked right over to him, we had a conversation.
“We both agreed we’d leave each other out of it and wouldn’t mention each other, just kind of let it die off, wouldn’t mention each other’s names, just go about it. So then he decided I guess he was going on that little, whatever, playing video games online [on Twitch, in which he made light of Koepka appearing in ESPN’s The Body Issue] or whatever and brought my name up and said a few things, so now it’s fair game.”
Koepka certainly has gotten some shots in of late. He took a shot at DeChambeau ahead of “The Match 4” and also poked fun at him after his split with long-time caddie Tim Tucker.
DeChambeau has gotten under Koepka’s skin as well and notably interrupted a Koepka interview at the PGA Championship. However, he’s adamant that he doesn’t know what deal he failed to uphold with Koepka, and he’s a bit confused as to why their chirps and banter have only picked up a couple of years after the original feud began.
“He can say whatever he wants,” DeChambeau said. “I think he said something back at Liberty National not upholding something. I don’t know what he’s talking about in that regard. Maybe that’s on me. Maybe I didn’t. I really don’t remember anything about that. We just had a conversation that I really don’t know what happened, because we haven’t really bantered back and forth until now, so it’s like why is that happening now.
“Besides that, I’m just here to play golf and focus on that. If we want to keep bantering back and forth, obviously being respectful and keeping lines where they aren’t getting crossed, yeah, I think it’s fun and a good environment for people in golf.”
The DeChambeau-Koepka feud has definitely piqued the interest of golf fans, and many hope that they will eventually be paired at a major tournament. We didn’t see that at the U.S. Open — the possibility was reportedly floated by the USGA but nixed — but perhaps if both play well at The Open Championship, they’ll end up playing together over the weekend at Royal St George’s.
DeChambeau looks to win his second major at the British Open while Koepka looks to earn his fifth and complete a third leg of the career grand slam.