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It says something about the state of modern golf that the most important story heading into the U.S. Open was ... the tee times.
Specifically, would the USGA pair Bryson DeChambeau, the swollen scientist, with Brooks Koepka, the jock who looks like he'd be entirely at ease stuffing his competition into lockers?
Sadly for those who like drama, storylines and the possibility of actual fistfights on the cliffs of Torrey Pines, the answer was no; the two will tee off at diametrically opposite times. The USGA has, in the past, entertained itself with its groupings, some of which have been in questionable taste, so why not pair golf's current feuding duo?
"I would be OK with that," DeChambeau said of the pairing, "but there was never really anything that went through me."
Koepka also denied that he'd been asked about the pairing, and further noted that teeing up next to DeChambeau "doesn't matter to me ... I play my own game. I don't care who I'm paired with. It doesn't matter to me what goes on. It makes no difference to me."
This is the latest in a long-running feud between the two that hit its apex shortly after the PGA Championship, when video surfaced of Koepka audibly (and profanely) expressing his disgust with DeChambeau. Soon afterward, galleries began serenading DeChambeau with shouts of "Brrooookkksyy!!" ... which Koepka appeared to enjoy.
Look, this is golf, so any fighting is pretty much of the passive-aggressive whispers-around-the-middle-school-cafeteria level. Still, the fact that these two are airing their disgust with one another — well, to be fair, it's mostly Koepka's disgust with DeChambeau — is notable for a sport that worships buttoned-up restraint.
This might be honest-to-God hatred, or it might just be golf's clumsy attempt at a pro wrestling work. Either way, both combatants say this is nothing but positive, and they're not upset by this, no, not at all, why would you ask?
"I think it's good for the game. It's bringing new eyeballs," Koepka said. "It's pretty much been on every news channel. Pretty much everything you look at online, it's got this in the headline, or it's up there as a big news story. To me, that's growing the game."
"All of it's been good fun," DeChambeau said. "Shoot, to be honest, people saying Brooksy's name out there, I love it. I think it's hilarious." And he just guaranteed that galleries are going to call out "Brooksy!" for literally the rest of DeChambeau's career.
There's always the chance they'll cross paths as one's leaving the course and the other's about to start. They won't throw hands or anything — although the golf world would explode if they did — but then again, if they're both in the hunt over the weekend, they might end up together anyway. At that point, we'll see if science or attitude holds the upper hand at Torrey Pines.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at email@example.com.
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