The Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka feud might be over once and for all. Well, according to DeChambeau at least.
Ahead of the 2021 Ryder Cup this week, fans wondered if they would see the infamous feud front-and-center on the course. However, Team USA captain Steve Stricker claimed on Monday that the two would not be partners this week and that they assured him not to worry about any drama.
Adding to the feud conversation, DeChambeau’s coach Mike Schy spoke with the The Irish Times (Dublin) on Monday about DeChambeau wanting to “move on” from the feud.
“Whether or not they are both doing it to maximize their global profile, Bryson wants it over,” Schy said.
But, fans still wanted to hear about the feud straight from DeChambeau or Koepka. On Tuesday, speaking in front of the media for the first time in a month, DeChambeau finally spoke out about the matter and assured reporters that they are moving forward.
“We had some great conversations Tour Championship week when we had dinner, and this week as well,” DeChambeau said, via The Athletic. “I had dinner with [Koepka] last night, and it was fun, and I think there may be something fun coming up here, but won’t speak too much more on that.”
However, taunting is still a worry heading into this weekend after the term “Brooksie” was banned at PGA Tour events following an instance at the BMW Championship last month. DeChambeau discussed this on Tuesday as well, admitting that these taunts bothered him but he’s ready to move on.
“Sure sometimes it’s not comfortable and sometimes it fuels me,” DeChambeau said. “I think this week is going to be an amazing example of it, and it’s going to be fun to be able to have the crowd behind us and pump them up and show them what I can hopefully do and what we can do as a team, more importantly.”
Previous Team USA golfers talked with ESPN about the drama surrounding this year’s Ryder Cup. Ironically, Patrick Reed gave his thoughts on feuds within the team, even though he was known for starting drama at the 2018 Ryder Cup after captain Jim Furyk didn’t partner him with Jordan Spieth. Reed has a better outlook now, claiming that the team will overcome their issues in order to win back the trophy.
“It’s 12 going out there and playing golf. Whether they can’t stand each other, whether they like each other, whatever it actually is, they don’t want to lose a point because of stuff like that,” Reed said. “They’re not going to let it bother them. They’re going to go out and play, and play the best they can and try to bring the Cup home.”
Keegan Bradley, two-time Ryder Cup teammate, also spoke on the DeChambeau/Koepka feud saying that it will be the “joke” in the locker room, but overall won’t impact their playing.
“Once they get on that team together, they’re going to be rooting for each other. They’re going to want each other to do well. My guess is it’ll kind of be the joke of the team in the locker room. Everybody will be ribbing them. I think it’ll be good for everybody,” Bradley said. “I think it is overblown. At least the teams I was on. Everyone was so close. You start these lifelong friendships and respect for each other. It was so fun to be on a team. It was special.”
While the feud with DeChambeau might be soon past Koepka, he continued to make headlines last week in regards to his thoughts on the Ryder Cup format. In an interview with Golf Digest, Koepka appeared to not prefer the team format.
“It’s tough. There are times where I’m like, ‘I won my match. I did my job. What do you want from me?’ I know how to take responsibility for the shots I hit every week,” Koepka said. “Now, somebody else hit a bad shot and left me in a bad spot, and I know this hole is a loss. That’s new, and you have to change the way you think about things. You go from an individual sport all the time to a team sport one week a year. It’s so far from my normal routine.”
Former Team USA member Paul Azinger was not happy about Koepka’s comments and fired back Koepka saying he should give his spot to someone else who wants to be there.
“I’m not sure he loves the Ryder Cup that much, if he doesn’t love it he should relinquish his spot and get people there who do love it,” Azinger said. “Not everybody embraces it. But if you don’t love it, and you’re not sold out, then I think Brooks — especially being hurt — should consider whether or not he really wants to be there. And if you add the Bryson (DeChambeau) dynamic to that, that would be an even easier decision for him.”
Regardless of these comments, Koepka is still playing this weekend at Whistling Straits alongside DeChambeau nonetheless. All eyes will be on the two powerhouses to see if they keep with their word and work towards a truce, or if fire will be added to the feud again.