The fight between golf stars Bryson DeChambeau (28) and Brooks Koepka (31) causes a lot of excitement before this weekend’s prestigious Ryder Cup tournament, but on Tuesday night they were filmed talking together …
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At the US-Europe tournament in Wisconsin, the two Americans will play together against Viktor Hovland (24) and the Norwegian’s European teammates after a public dispute of about two years. Key questions include how it will fare, how and if they will be able to cooperate and how the local American audience will behave towards DeChambeau.
The dispute has led, among other things, to viewers of the sport of golf choosing sides and starting to goad DeChambeau, 28. During the Memorial tournament in June, several were thrown off the field due to shouting from the stands. In Memphis last month, best-selling author Shane Ryan witnessed what he describes as “a brutal sight.”
– On the surface, it doesn’t seem so ugly or personal, not even as an insult. But when you watch the mob up close and listen to their screams for hours, it becomes clear: the goal is to harass and humiliate, Ryan describes in an article in Golf Digest, before adding:
– It’s a brutal sight.
Ber Koepka si ifra
DeChambeau has helped fuel the conflict, both on social media and in interviews. He’s also been described as the most controversial player in the golf circus, but before the Ryder Cup, coach Mike Schy says the 28-year-old now wants to put the matter behind him.
– Bryson wants me to finish. “Ultimately, these are two big egos,” Schy told The Times.
Author Ryan also argues that Koepka is doing his part to stop the anger.
– There’s something about DeChambeau that people in the stands don’t like. But it does not have to be like that. Koepka could make a public announcement, an attempt to end a sad episode in professional golf. Because no matter how much you dislike a competitor, and no matter how good your reasons are, it is wrong to allow people in the stands to abuse you psychologically.
The question is whether Koepka has plans to do something about it. ON a great interview on Golf Digest, released last week, Koepka doesn’t speak directly about DeChambeau, but the 31-year-old is clear that he finds joy in crushing others in a competitive context.
– The reality is that I get more satisfaction than anyone knows. It gives me so much satisfaction to the point where something is wrong with my head. It has nothing to say what we are doing, it is so intense, says Koepka.
– I may not always show it, but I am so intense inside of me that I want to hit you unhealthy no matter what we do. It devours me inside. We can play table tennis, or whatever. I just want to humiliate you. If golf wasn’t a gentlemen’s sport, it is, I’d talk shit to the end.
However, after Tuesday’s workout, Koepka commented on a video on Twitter where the tone between the two looks good:
At a press conference, DeChambeu also said that they got along reasonably well.
– A lot of social media stuff has definitely been driven by a lot of external factors, not necessarily the two of us. We had some great conversations during Tour Championship week over dinners, and again this week. I had dinner with him last night and he was fine. I think there may be something more fun in the future, but we don’t talk about it too much.
Different starting point
At the same time, the opinions of the two stars in the Ryder Cup are totally different.
– He loves team play. Sometimes if he’s in trouble it can seem a bit selfish, but the truth is, he’s doing his best to contribute, says Coach Schy about DeChambeau, while Koepka says the following about team competition:
– Is different. It is hectic. That’s a bit strange, to be honest. It is the opposite of what it is during an important week.
The Ryder Cup is played on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The last time the tournament was held was in 2018. Last year it was postponed due to the pandemic. In Wisconsin, teams with 12 players each are represented. 15 of them qualified directly, including DeChambeau and Koepka, while nine were selected by captains Padraig Harrington (Europe) and Steve Stricker (USA). The latter has spoken to the two enemies.
– It’s not a problem for me or the team. We were together a couple of weeks ago and I have spoken to both of them. They have assured me that it will not be a problem. I don’t worry about that, Stricker says, before elaborating:
– Do I want to get them together to play together? I do not think. Things can change, but I don’t think so. But we have had good conversations and dinners together. No problem, and they are both “on board”.
This is the Ryder Cup setup:
Friday: Four quartet matches followed by four fourball matches.
Saturday: Four quartet matches followed by four fourball matches.
Sunday: 12 singlekamper.