The much talked-about Bryson DeChambeau-Brooks Koepka rivalry has continued at The Open. Both players were asked about it constantly in the pre-tournament press conferences, while Koepka couldn’t resist the opportunity to mock DeChambeau’s outburst about his equipment after a poor opening round.
But something seems to have shifted in the DeChambeau-Koepka continuum at Royal St George’s, as Alex Perry and Steve Carroll explain…
‘I’m a Team Bryson convert’
We were standing on the 18th tee and DeChambeau had just munched his driver toward that glorious grandstand that envelopes the green.
The excitement was such that Mackenzie Hughes’ caddie, whose player was a few feet away preparing for his approach to 17, had to come over and calm a few people down.
On Friday I watched DeChambeau get his round underway. Only a handful of players – mainly UK-based – received a more rousing ovation.
On the 10th tee, groans rang out around Kent as his caddie handed him his hybrid. DeChambeau turned with a huge smile on his face. “Oh come on, guys!” he joked. Groans turned into laughs. It was a lovely moment to witness.
Soon after, Koepka’s group arrived at the nearby 15th. The grandstand behind the green was packed but you wouldn’t think it was a four-time major champion and one of the best players in the world putting out in front of them. A polite applause and on you go, Brooks. Why should we treat you any differently?
At 18, I stood alongside a dozen cameramen clicking furiously when it was DeChambeau’s turn to putt. Playing partners Jordan Spieth and Branden Grace may as well have not been there.
I was Team Brooks before this week. Now I’m very much Team Bryson.
I’m not alone. The crowds in this corner of England have made their feelings well and truly known who their main man is this week. Imagine how fun it would have been if he was contending…
‘Bryson is box office and I’m all for it’
There’s this pantomime thing going on when Bryson DeChambeau reaches into the bag, writes Steve Carroll. Oh yes he will! Oh no he won’t!
It’s a bit of theatre befitting of a box office player and I’m all for it. I’ve loved the way the crowds have warmed to him this week, and the way he genuinely seems to have appreciated that affection he’s received.
I’ve found myself among them, drawn into that big hitting spectacle – I can’t actually believe how far and high he hits it – and it’s made me feel more and more uncomfortable as this spat with Koepka persists.
Time to let it go now, Brooks.
As for the driver outburst, well it wasn’t wise but let’s not dwell on it. Show me any club golfer who hasn’t occasionally moaned about their equipment after a stinker and I’ll show you a liar. It’s why we can’t help but keep running to the shops – hoping the next bit of technology will unlock the secret.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, DeChambeau is on the course and I want to watch the show.
Which side of the Brooks-Bryson rivalry are you on? Or do you even care? Let us know in the comments below, or you can tweet us.
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