“I do not know if I might name it battle,” Koepka stated Tuesday. “We simply do not like one another.”
Sadly, golf followers who needed to observe the pair play collectively within the first two rounds of this week’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines will not get their want.
Whereas there was hypothesis that the USGA may pair the final three U.S. Open winners collectively — Koepka received at Erin Hills in 2017 and Shinnecock Hills in 2018, Gary Woodland at Pebble Seashore in 2019 and DeChambeau at Winged Foot in October — USGA matchmakers finally determined to keep away from a possible circus.
Each DeChambeau and Koepka on Tuesday denied being approached by USGA officers about doubtlessly being paired collectively. A USGA official additionally instructed ESPN that DeChambeau wasn’t requested about taking part in with Koepka.
“I’d be OK with that, however there was by no means actually something that went by means of me,” DeChambeau stated.
As a substitute, the 2 gamers might be fairly far aside on the South Course at Torrey Pines for the primary two rounds. Koepka is taking part in with Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas and can begin at 10:29 a.m. ET Thursday from the No. 10 tee.
DeChambeau, as is U.S. Open custom, will play with the defending U.S. beginner champion, Tyler Strafaci. Reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama is the third participant within the group, which is able to tee off on the entrance 9 at 4:14 p.m. ET.
Thomas, the No. 2 participant on the earth, instructed ESPN that he believes the USGA did the proper factor, even when followers may need favored to see DeChambeau and Koepka taking part in collectively.
“The event is lots greater than these two, for my part,” Thomas stated. “It looks like everybody needed to see it, but it surely’s not truthful for both of them to be distracted from attempting to win a significant from one thing they’ve occurring outdoors. No offense to them, this event is not about them — it is in regards to the U.S. Open.”
Woodland stated he would have cherished taking part in with DeChambeau and Koepka.
“I feel it might have been nice,” Woodland stated. “I feel the followers — all my associates again house, everyone was speaking about it. I feel it is good for the sport. Brooks did not play for 2 weeks and he is throughout ESPN, everywhere in the sports activities information. I feel that is good.
“I’d have cherished to have performed. I feel the power in that group would have been wonderful. I’d have instigated and tried to start out fights or no matter I may have accomplished.”
Koepka has criticized DeChambeau’s gradual play up to now and their feud escalated final month, when somebody leaked a video by which Koepka rolled his eyes after DeChambeau walked previous him whereas speaking and interrupted an interview.
On Tuesday, Koepka stated he did not care that the video was launched.
“It does not matter to me. I am not too involved,” he stated. “It’s what it’s. Like I stated final week, I do not dwell with remorse. It acquired out, not an enormous deal. And so far as notion, I am probably not too involved — I am apprehensive about what I’ve acquired to do and what I am doing. I am not involved about what different folks suppose. If I used to be involved about what everyone else thought, I might have been in a world of ache.”
Through the Memorial Match in Dublin, Ohio, this month, at the very least three followers have been ejected for heckling DeChambeau. They have been reportedly yelling “Brooks Koepka!” at him.
“I feel it is enjoyable,” DeChambeau stated. “There is a level the place it is nice banter. I personally adore it. I feel that, as time goes on, I hope on the weekend we will play towards one another and compete. I feel it might be enjoyable and could be nice for the sport.”
DeChambeau stated he wasn’t bothered that followers have not yelled his title at Koepka but.
“I am not apprehensive in any respect,” DeChambeau stated. “He is older than me, and he is received extra majors than me. Hey, I’ve acquired one thing to look as much as.”
Jordan Spieth, the 2015 U.S. Open champion, discovered himself in an analogous scenario following the 2018 Ryder Cup. After captain Jim Furyk broke up Spieth’s partnership with Patrick Reed as a result of Spieth needed to play matches with Thomas, Reed criticized the choice within the media.
“The difficulty’s clearly with Jordan not eager to play with me,” Reed instructed the New York Occasions after the U.S. misplaced to Europe 17½ to 10½ on the Ryder Cup in Paris.
On the Farmers Insurance coverage Open at Torrey Pines in January 2019, Spieth and Reed hugged on the No. 1 tee field earlier than taking part in collectively within the third spherical.
“Yeah, it stemmed from the Ryder Cup and eager to play with Justin in some matches,” Spieth stated. “It was extra blown up than it was between he and I. He and I by no means actually had any person-to-person points. I keep in mind strolling on, I used to be paired with him, in fact, and simply sarcastically gave him a hug.”
Does Spieth imagine that DeChambeau and Koepka may hug it out the following time they play collectively?
“At this level, most likely not, however who is aware of what is going to occur till they play once more,” Spieth stated.