The Match: Brooks Koepka says relationship is ‘non-existent’; Bryson DeChambeau says there’s ‘kind of a disdain for each other’

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There’s a joke going around Las Vegas that The Match between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau is being contested over 12 holes on Friday because DeChambeau wanted to play 24 holes and Koepka wanted to play none.

“That’s fair,” Koepka said. “Eighteen holes with him is a long time. I don’t want to be around him as much as anyone else.”

When asked to choose one word to describe the state of their relationship, Koepka said, “non-existent.”

DeChambeau described the two PGA Tour stars as having “kind of a disdain for each other.”

After hitting pause on their social-media kerfuffle for the good of Team USA at the Ryder Cup, the gloves apparently are off again.

Ryder Cup 2021
Ryder Cup 2021

Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka smile during the Opening Ceremony for the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisconsin. Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

“I don’t hit him up every day and my phone isn’t blowing up so you can do the math,” Koepka said.

“The thing I’m looking most forward to is kicking his butt,” DeChambeau said. “For some reason, he doesn’t like me and whatever. It is what it is. I’m here to showcase and spark kids to play a game in a unique way and apparently he doesn’t like that. I don’t know what’s up with that?”

“He can continue to try to bully me,” DeChambeau added. “He’s not doing a very good job of it as of right now. I think we’re winning, personally. He’s obviously gotten his fun little jabs and what not but he’s missed a couple of cuts so I don’t know what else to say about that. You can’t say much when you miss cuts.”

But the more DeChambeau tried to hype the match, the more he revealed his sensitive side and that Koepka’s bullying tactics have taken their toll.

“It’s disgusting the way the guy has tried to knock me down. There’s no need for it in the game of golf. He’s just tried to knock me down in every angle, every avenue and every way,” DeChambeau said. “For what reason? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because he’s jealous and he wants to get a part of that PIP money from the Tour. That’s probably a part of it because it was kind of squashed until this year when it was announced. It was like, ‘Woah. Why’s he trying to do it?’ That’s pretty much the best reason I have for it.”

Koepka said he’s explained too many times that his distaste for DeChambeau stems from the 2019 Northern Trust when DeChambeau approached Koepka’s caddie Ricky Elliot on the putting green before the final round rather than directly to him to express his anger at Koepka singling him out for slow play. The two reached some sort of détente, which DeChambeau violated when he poked fun at Koepka on social media.

“He was the one (who agreed) we’re not going to say anything about each other and leave each others name out and then he opened his mouth with my name in it and I was like, ‘Looks like we’re back on.’ Don’t tell me you’re not going to open your mouth and then open it 2-3 months later. You’re going to get what you asked for, I can promise you.”

Their beef went mainstream when a video of Koepka rolling his eyes as DeChambeau walked behind him during a taped interview at the PGA Championship went viral. After the U.S. victory at the Ryder Cup, Keopka and DeChambeau hugged it out in front of their teammates, but both players agreed that it was forced.

“The team wanted us to do it,” DeChambeau said. “I was surprised he did it but I’m a guy who can put things behind me pretty quickly. It definitely felt forced. There wasn’t an apology or anything like that. Until I get an apology for what he said and what not, nothing will change.”

The golf world had been rooting for the two to be paired together in a final round with a trophy on the line, but the televised exhibition, which will air on TNT with Charles Barkley and Phil Mickelson among the broadcasters, will have to suffice for now.

“Obviously no one would put us together so we had to do it on our own,” Koepka said. “I think the whole world wants to see it. I’m giving the people what they want. I’m a man of the people.”

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Golf's greatest feuds? Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka have a long way to go.