Brooks Koepka has no problem letting his feud with Bryson DeChambeau drag on.
The four-time major winner addressed the duo’s dig-filled back-and-forth at The British Open on Tuesday, and said DeChambeau is “fair game” to his comments.
Why? Koepka claimed DeChambeau didn’t follow through on an apparent agreement they made at the 2019 Northern Trust tournament at Liberty National in New Jersey.
“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 about the origins of their rift.
“He didn’t like that I had mentioned his name in slow play, so we had a conversation in the locker room,” Koepka said about the exchange at Liberty National.
“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.”
Koepka went on to say the pair “agreed” not to speak of one another and “just kind of let it die off,” but things didn’t go as planned.
“So then he decided I guess he was going on that little, whatever, playing video games online or whatever and brought my name up and said a few things, so now it’s fair game,” Koepka said, referencing when DeChambeau, in January 2020, poked fun at Koepka’s physique when he appeared in ESPN’s “The Body Issue.”
At the time, Koepka fired back on Twitter with a photo of his four major championships, writing, “You were right @b_dechambeau I am 2 short of a 6 pack!” (DeChambeau, at the time, had not won a major.)
DeChambeau addressed Koepka’s “fair game” comment on Tuesday at The Open.
“He can say whatever he wants. I think he said something back at Liberty National not upholding something. I don’t know what he’s talking about in that regard,” DeChambeau said, admitting, “Maybe that’s on me. Maybe I didn’t. I really don’t remember anything about that.
He recalled, “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.”
DeChambeau added, “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.”
Despite the rivalry — which gained momentum earlier this year, when Koepka was caught rolling his eyes at DeChambeau in a leaked viral video at the PGA Championships — the golfers believe they can co-exist if paired up at the Ryder Cup in September.
“Look, I can put it aside for business. If we’re going to be on the same team, I can deal with anybody in the world for a week,” Koepka said at The Open when asked about a potential pairing with DeChambeau.
“We’re not going to be high-fiving and having late-night conversations. I do my thing; he does his thing… Like I said, I can put anything aside for a team, business, whatever, just to get the job done. No problem with that.”
As for DeChambeau? He wouldn’t mind being partnered with Koepka at the Ryder Cup.
“I think would be kind of funny actually. I think we’d do well, to be honest,” he said. “It would create a little interesting vibe for the team or for the guys we’re playing against.”