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What's the History of Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau's Feud?

The ties that bind are often the same that divide.      

By Andrew Woodin
Split image of Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau

Where’s the beef?

Throughout the course of history, humanity’s intrinsic ability to pit polar opposites against one another has gifted us hungry bystanders with some pretty epic feuds to satiate our entertainment appetite. The bolder the vendetta, the better.

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That’s why when the bitter rivalry between professional golfers Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau ignited, it was just too juicy to ignore. In terms of their beef, it wasn’t just any ordinary cut either — it was top shelf filet mignon.

What started the feud between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau?

Like most professional sports, feuds in golf do happen, but just when you thought the tension between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson would never be topped, here come Koepka and DeChambeau to obliterate that notion, and it all started with some cheeky comments on slow play.

Brooks Koepka at LIV Golf Invitational

In January 2019, Koepka commented on golfers taking their time during the Dubai Desert Classic, though he didn’t mention DeChambeau directly.

"I just don't understand how it takes a minute and 20 seconds, a minute and 15 to hit a golf ball; it's not that hard," stated Koepka at the time, according to ESPN. "It's always between two clubs. There's a miss short, there's a miss long. It really drives me nuts especially when it's a long hitter because you know you've got two other guys or at least one guy that's hitting before you, so you can do all your calculations, you should have your numbers."

DeChambeau began to take a defensive stance as videos of his notorious slow play went viral, featuring the bored faces of his event competitors Tommy Fleetwood and former world number one Justin Thomas.

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Then, in a strange turn, golf analyst Eamon Lynch reported in August of 2019 that DeChambeau confronted Koepka’s caddie on a putting green, essentially telling the caddie that if Koepka had an issue with his slow play, he needed to say it to his face.

DeChambeau felt that Koepka’s comments earlier in the year spurred heavy criticism against him on social media. Koepka explained that the problem isn’t with the person — it lies with the cadence of play.

"It's not just him,” said Koepka. “I know he feels singled out, especially when I'm speaking about it. But it's like I told him, I've mentioned his name once, and that's it. There's so many guys out here where it's become an issue, and obviously him being probably the best player that's relatively slow right now, he's going to be on TV a lot more, so you're going to catch a lot more of those type of instances."

Following this instance, the two seemed to put their beef aside, even appearing friendly on a SiriusXM radio show together, according to Golf Digest, with
DeChambeau saying of a potential fight, “Let’s be honest, he’d [Koepka] kick my ass.”

Agreeing not to bash one another publicly, things remained peachy for a bit before The Body Issue edition of ESPN The Magazine came along and spoiled the peace.

What are some things Koepka and DeChambeau have said about one another?

Koepka was featured in The Body Issue of ESPN The Magazine and, during a Twitch livestream session in January of 2020, DeChambeau was recorded throwing shade at Koepka’s physique.

"I don't know if his [Koepka’s] genetics even make him look good, to be honest," scoffed DeChambeau in the video. "That Body Issue, he didn't have any abs, I can tell you that. I got some abs."

The public slam went against their bro code and, with the pact broken, it was time to ratchet up a gentleman’s quarrel. Koepka returned fire with a light jab in a Twitter post, showcasing four trophies and writing, "
You were right [DeChambeau]. I am 2 short of a 6 pack!"

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Koepka also did a quippy interview in August of 2020 targeting DeChambeau’s “scientific” approach to every shot.  

Then, there was the infamous eye-roll.

During an interview Koepka was doing with Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis in May of 2021, DeChambeau walked through the shot in the background. The sound of DeChambeau’s metal spikes became too much of a distraction for Koepka, and he rolled his eyes and cursed on camera.

“I lost my train of thought,” Koepka said angrily in the hilarious video. “Yeah, hearing that bullsh-t.”  

Bryson DeChambeau at LIV Invitational

A wave of shots on social media came next as DeChambeau was paired with Aaron Rodgers in The Match against Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson. Koepka just couldn’t resist, posting, “Sorry bro [Aaron Rodgers].”

DeChambeau chimed in with his own burn, “[Brooks Koepka] It’s nice to be living rent free in your head!”

Koepka definitely went for the jugular with his reply. His tweet featured a video of DeChambeau teeing off right as a fan mistakenly yelled, “Alright Brooksy!” In the video, an embarrassed DeChambeau immediately chided the fan, saying, “Whoever is calling me ‘Brooksy’ needs to get out of here.”

Justin Thomas lapped up the drama, posting a photo of actor Bill Hader gobbling up popcorn. Mickelson only fanned the flames by posting a dig at Koepka, tweeting, "
I feel like I’m in the middle of something and should step aside. (Except they want the CURRENT PGA champ)." For context, Mickelson had won the 2021 PGA Championship, defeating Koepka, just days earlier.

What role did beer play in escalating their feud?

During the Memorial Tournament in June 2021, fans began chanting “Brooksy” at DeChambeau. Koepka, who wasn’t playing in the tournament, partnered with Michelob Ultra to give free beer to any fan that was removed from the tournament, encouraging others to chant the nickname. In a video, Koepka calls himself “Brooksy” and thanks fans for their support all the while sporting an excited smirk.

The nickname lingered around DeChambeau like a putrid cloud. Asked in an interview for the Golf Channel if he thought his feud with DeChambeau had grown out of hand, Koepka spun it as a positive for the sport.

"I think it's good for the game. I really do," Koepka said. "The fact that golf's on pretty much every news outlet for about two weeks pretty consistently, I think that's a good thing. It's growing the game."

Brooks Koepka at LIV Golf Invitational

With their feud out in the open ahead of the Ryder Cup this fall, vice captain Steve Stricker noted that he had a lot on his plate.

"Yeah, it's not making my job any easier, you know," stated Stricker. "I haven't talked to either one of them. I will have to at some point. We'll see where it goes from there. Hopefully, they can put their differences aside for the week, be big boys and come together as a team."

What happened at the BMW Championship?

Several social media slights later, DeChambeau was playing in the 2021 BMW Championship and had been dealing with taunts all week. A fan called him “Brooksy” as he was walking into the clubhouse and, according to ESPN’s Kevin Van Valkenburg, who was there, DeChambeau became enraged with the fans, yelling, “You know what? Get the f--k out!”

After the incident, the PGA Tour got involved and issued a decree that any fan that heckled DeChambeau with "Brooksy" mentions would be kicked out of an event.

Did the U.S. Ryder Cup’s win in 2021 help mend the relationship between Koepka and DeChambeau?

DeChambeau and Koepka were integral members of the U.S. Ryder Cup’s big win in 2021, with DeChambeau eliminating a steady Sergio Garcia. An emotional captain Steve Stricker mentioned in an interview after the historic victory that it was all about the team coming together, even “Brooks and Bryson wanted to play together. ... That shows a lot about this team.”

Courtesy of Golf Week, another video captures the two even hugging it out as Justin Thomas sang “Why Can’t We Be Friends” and other teammates shouted “Brooksy” in the background. Another tweet after the event featured DeChambeau wearing a T-shirt with a modified scene from Step Brothers, but instead of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in the portrait, it was DeChambeau and Koepka.

Bryson DeChambeau at LIV Invitational

So, where’s the beef?

Kiss the fireworks goodbye because the bro love’s real. Even a spicy tweet from Tom Brady when Koepka and DeChambeau were both picked for The Match couldn’t reignite their once fiery feud. Maybe it helped Koepka in that he won in dominant fashion.

"Obviously, watching him up close and personal is pretty neat, pretty special to watch him hit the ball," Koepka noted of
DeChambeau after The Match, according to the Golf Channel. "Like I said, there is respect there, but at the same time it was fun to come out here and settle this."

How significant was the 2023 PGA Championship for DeChambeau and Koepka?

In a true sign that the duo had squashed their beef, DeChambeau and Koepka played together during the PGA Championship in May. Ahead of their successful tournament outing, Koepka, who won the tournament, revealed that their feud had officially fizzled out.

“Believe it or not, we squashed it,” Koepka posted on Instagram earlier this year, alluding to his issues with DeChambeau. “We're good. I actually talk to him quite frequently because of what’s going on here at LIV. Pretty much on an every other day basis. We've got a good open line of communication, we've figured it all out and we’re good.”

While it appears the previously stoked fire between the two ultra-talented golfers may have fizzled out, if there are any embers still lingering around at the rapidly approaching 2023 U.S. Open, all it takes to ramp things into a blazing inferno is a little oxygen — or, maybe a well-placed eye-roll.

Be sure to watch as the U.S. Open Golf Championship comes to NBC's family of networks June 15-18. Here's where to find the action.