The Open: Koepka would relish Sunday showdown with rival DeChambeau

By Sports Desk July 13, 2021

Brooks Koepka would relish a Sunday showdown with rival Bryson DeChambeau at The Open as the pair's feud continued at Royal St George's.

The American duo have been exchanging barbs for a long while now, with Koepka invited to offer an explanation when he faced the media ahead of the 149th Open in Kent on Tuesday.

Koepka revealed the issue started at the 2019 Northern Trust at Liberty National after he called out his compatriot for slow play.

A disgruntled DeChambeau took it up with Koepka's caddie, Ricky Elliott, before the pair apparently decided to call it quits, only for DeChambeau to stoke the fire with some unflattering comments about his countryman during a public online video game session.

Four-time major winner Koepka explained: "It was at Liberty. He didn't like that I had mentioned his name in slow play, so we had a conversation in the locker room, and then I guess we said something else in the press conference but didn't mention his name in it, and he walked up to Ricky and said: 'You tell your man if he's got something to say, say it to me.'

"I thought that was ironic because he went straight to Ricky. Ricky told me when I came out, I hit a few putts, and then just walked right over to him, we had a conversation.

"We both agreed we'd leave each other out of it and wouldn't mention each other, just kind of let it die off, wouldn't mention each other's names, just go about it.

"So then he decided I guess he was going on that little, whatever, playing video games online or whatever and brought my name up and said a few things, so now it's fair game."

Asked about the prospect of being paired with DeChambeau for the final round at golf's oldest major this weekend, Koepka said he would be up for the battle.

"Yeah, I would enjoy it. I would enjoy it. I'll be close to the final group come Sunday," he said.

"I always feel like I play well in the big events, the majors. I think it would be a lot more people tuning in, with everything that's gone on over the last two years, something like that, three years. So yeah, I think there would be a lot of people tuning in."

With the Ryder Cup to come at Whistling Straits in September, the two are set to be team-mates, but Koepka can handle a week of being on the same side.

"It's only a week. I mean, look, I can put it aside for business," he said.

"If we're going to be on the same team, I can deal with anybody in the world for a week. I'm not playing with him.

"I'm pretty sure we're not going to be paired together; put it that way. I think it's kind of obvious. It doesn't matter.

"We're not going to be high-fiving and having late-night conversations. I do my thing, he does his thing."

Speaking later the same day, DeChambeau was a little more succinct, saying of Koepka: "He can say whatever he wants. I think he said something back at Liberty National not upholding something. I don't know what he's talking about in that regard."

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