Four-time main winner Brooks Koepka says his feud with reigning US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau is “good for the game” and will not be a US Ryder Cup crew distraction.
Koepka, who shared second in final month’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, returns to South Carolina for this week’s PGA Palmetto Championship at Congaree, which changed the Canadian Open that was canceled on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The one-off occasion is the final PGA Tour cease earlier than subsequent week’s US Open at Torrey Pines, the place DeChambeau will defend his first main title.
A video of Koepka being aggravated as DeChambeau walked previous at the PGA Championship went viral and has sparked a social media alternate that included Koepka providing free beer for hecklers of DeChambeau tossed out of final week’s Memorial match.
The consideration to spice up to each golfers will assist them in quest of a brand new pool of bonus cash for reputation, however Koepka additionally sees the over-the-top rivalry as a lift to golf.
“I think it’s good for the game. I really do,” Koepka stated Wednesday. “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.
“I get the traditionalists who do not agree with it. I perceive that, however I feel to develop the sport you have to attain out to the youthful technology… it is reaching out to a complete bunch of individuals. It’s getting golf in entrance of individuals.”
It could also put them center stage at the Ryder Cup, with DeChambeau ranked second in points and Koepka fifth. Six players will qualify on points and US captain Steve Stricker will have six captain’s choices.
But Stricker might also have a problem with poisioned chemistry if DeChambeau and Koepka bring a spat into the US locker room when the American team hosts holders Europe next September at Whistling Straits.
“I do not see why it might,” Koepka stated of the risk of damaging US crew chemsitry.
“There’s solely eight guys which might be enjoying, 4 guys are sitting, no matter. I imply, I play with one different man. Let’s say I do not play with Bryson or Bryson does not play with me, he takes care of his match, and I might care for my match, and I do not understand how that has any impact.
“What you do off the golf course doesn’t have any effect on the golf course.”
Koepka performed on profitable US sides at the 2016 Ryder Cup and 2017 Presidents Cup and was on the 2018 US Ryder Cup squad that misplaced in France, so he is aware of simply how a lot time he and DeChambeau is perhaps spending round one another at the Ryder Cup.
“Everyone is just kind of around each other, between dinners, all the different things we’ve got going,” Koepka stated. “Yeah, we’re around each other.”
– ‘It was simply so loud’ –
Koepka stated he did not thoughts the consideration his emotions about DeChambeau have gotten since a one-off second final month.
“It doesn’t bother me, honestly,” he stated. “It’s nothing I’m terribly upset about.
“He did not say something to me. I used to be proper in entrance of the microphones the place you guys all have been, and I do not need to say he was like screaming — he was saying one thing about how he hit an ideal shot and it should not have been there — and it was simply very, very loud.
“Hey, look, we’re all kind of in this area, just tone it down, and it was just so loud. Then I think he realized that he had gotten right behind me, and he toned it down a little bit.”