The 149th Open: Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau give more details of the origin of their feud
Brooks Koepka claims Bryson DeChambeau did not uphold "an agreement" which triggered their feud in 2019, although DeChambeau's recollection of their discussions in somewhat different
By Keith Jackson at Royal St George's
Last Updated: 14/07/21 7:31pm
Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau have shared more details on the origins of their ongoing feud ahead of The 149th Open at Royal St George's.
The war of words between the pair has been one of the biggest talking points in golf in recent months, with coverage of the feud being elevated by the infamous leaked footage of Koepka displaying his obvious distain for his rival during the PGA Championship in May.
But the spat actually dates back to an incident during The Northern Trust held at Liberty National in August 2019, when DeChambeau was angered by Koepka's accusations of slow play and sought out his rival for discussions on the matter in the locker room.
Koepka claims they came to "an agreement", although he was furious that DeChambeau had also approached his caddie, Ricky Elliott, to voice his opposition to Koepka's comments. DeChambeau, however, has no recollection of any "agreement".
"We had a conversation at Liberty National, and he didn't hold up his end of the bargain and I didn't like that, so I'll take my shots," said Koepka. "He didn't like that I had mentioned his name in slow play, so we had a conversation in the locker room.
"Then I guess we said something else in the press conference but didn't mention his name in it, and he walked up to Ricky, 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.
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"Ricky told me when I came out, I 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 or whatever and brought my name up and said a few things, so now it's fair game."
Koepka's final comment was a reference to DeChambeau posting a video on social media shortly after Koepka had appeared in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue two years ago, in which he said "Brooks didn't have any abs".
DeChambeau, who has been targeted by hecklers shouting "Brooks" during his last four starts, was reluctant to go into the specifics of their conversation at Liberty National, although he continues to insist the "back and forth banter" is good for the game.
"He can say whatever he wants," was DeChambeau's abrupt retort when asked about Koepka's comments a few hours earlier. "I think he said something back at Liberty National not upholding something, but 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 heavyweight Americans also have differing views on the prospect of being paired together at the Ryder Cup in September, with Koepka appearing to rule out teaming up with DeChambeau, who believes the pairing would be "funny".
"I'm not playing with him," said Koepka. "I'm pretty sure we're not going to be paired together, put it that way. I think it's kind of obvious. It doesn't matter. We're not going to be high fiving and having late-night conversations.
"I do my thing, he does his thing. Yeah, we're on the same team, but it's not an issue at all. I don't view it as an issue. I don't think he does. I can put anything aside for a team, business, whatever, just to get the job done. No problem with that."
DeChambeau countered by suggesting that playing alongside Koepka would not only give Team USA one of their strongest pairings, but it could also be off-putting to their opponents.
"I think it would be kind of funny actually," he said. "I think we'd do well, to be honest. It would create a little interesting vibe for the team or for the guys we're playing against."