At the conclusion of the second round of this past week’s PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka was tied for the lead with Phil Mickelson, though you would be forgiven for thinking he was on the verge of getting cut based on his demeanor during an outtake of an interview with Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis. In the recently leaked clip, Koepka can be seen rolling his eyes and slouching under what looks to be Jovian gravity as he hears the telltale clink of his dreaded rival Bryson DeChambeau. Koepka was delivering an answer on putting in the wind when DeChambeau clacked by, and derailed Koepka’s brain. “I fucking lost my train of thought,” he sighed. “Yeah, hearing that bullshit. Fucking Christ.”
DeChambeau’s whole thing is that he’s Mr. Too Damn Science, so there’s probably an analytical or mental edge to being part of the 20 percent of PGA Tour golfers who still wear metal spikes. This advantage, if it exists, comes at the cost of damaging greens, which Spanish golfer Jon Rahm was famously pissed about earlier this year.
Koepka also hates the metal spikes, obviously, and DeChambeau mocked Koepka online shortly after the clip posted. However, this here beef goes much deeper than one little spike-fueled disagreement. The two top pros have a storied history of pissing each other off and trolling each other, which I will now detail for you.
We begin in January 2019, when Koepka made an appearance on Golf Monthly‘s podcast and went in on DeChambeau for his glacially slow pace of play. “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,” he said. “Guys are already so slow it’s kind of embarrassing. I just don’t get why you enforce some things and don’t enforce others.” DeChambeau defended himself, and after Koepka reiterated his stance that August, DeChambeau had to have a chat with him. The two said they were cool; the beef briefly left the grill.
This brings us to Four-pack-gate. Last January, shortly after Koepka showed everyone his butt for ESPN’s Body Issue, DeChambeau was asked on his Twitch stream about body stuff. DeChambeau’s other thing—really, it’s connected to his whole analytical approach—is that he’s a deliberately large guy who can smack the piss out of a golf ball. So he has an obvious interest in the human body vis-a-vis golf, and he evaluated Koepka’s as such: “I don’t know if his genetics make him look good, to be honest. I mean in that Body Issue, he didn’t have any abs. I got some abs.”
Koepka then dropped the hammer and reminded DeChambeau that he had yet to win a major.
The two spent 2020 taking subtle shots at each other, like when Koepka made fun of DeChambeau for berating a cameraman. At a tournament in late July, DeChambeau caught flak for trying to squeeze an official for a free drop out of a tight spot because he alleged there were a bunch of fire ants near his ball. TV cameras then caught Koepka making fun of DeChambeau’s prissiness.
There you have the beef, cooked and sliced. Nobody has thrown punches or anything, but when you adjust for golf’s inherent stuffiness, rolling one’s eyes and saying cuss words is the equivalent of a football guy crapping on an opposing team’s logo after a touchdown. This is not part of the beef really at all, but I feel I would be remiss in my duties as a Bryson DeChambeau chronicler if I did not note that the best golf moment of 2020 was DeChambeau’s quintuple-bogey and subsequent meltdown at the Memorial when he ran into a problem with a fence.