Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau Agreed to End Feud Ahead of Ryder Cup, per Stricker

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 26, 2021

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 14: Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau attend the launch The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Presented by EGA at Masdar City - a unique ‘city of the future’ in the United Arab Emirates on January 14, 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau plan to put their differences aside at the 2021 Ryder Cup.

Steve Stricker, the United States' captain for the event, told Sports Illustrated's John Hawkins the two stars won't let their rivalry get in the way of dethroning Team Europe.

"They assured me that the team and the country and everything else that goes into this is their [top priority]," Stricker said. "They said it’s not going to be an issue, and I believe them. I trust them. As far as I’m concerned, it’s been put to bed."

Anybody who's followed golf over the last few years knows all about the bad blood between Koepka and DeChambeau. They haven't been shy about expressing their mutual disdain for one another.

Golf.com's Jessica Marksbury attempted to trace the origins of the long-running feud, which dates back to at least January 2019 after Koepka complained about DeChambeau's deliberate playing style.

The two seemed to reach a detente a few months later. Then DeChambeau commented on Koepka's inclusion in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue. 

"I don’t think his genetics even make him look good," he said of the four-time major champion during a Twitch stream. "Did you see the Body Issue? He didn’t have any abs. I have abs."

All bets were apparently off after that.

Fans have gotten in on the fun as well. Two attendees at the Memorial Tournament in June were ejected after taunting DeChambeau by yelling "Brooksy!" during his round. Koepka alluded to the drama when he said he planned to give away free cases of beer: 

Brooks Koepka @BKoepka

Capping off a long day with <a href="https://twitter.com/MichelobULTRA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MichelobULTRA</a>! Thanks for all the support today. Also, we’ve got something for you… <a href="https://t.co/kwtwXg3Kqb">pic.twitter.com/kwtwXg3Kqb</a>

DeChambeau quipped the entire back-and-forth is "great for the PIP fund," which is a pool of money awarded to the game's top stars.

What's good for golf isn't necessarily good for the U.S. at the Ryder Cup, however. 

Koepka and DeChambeau have both qualified for this year's tournament at Whistling Straits in September. Individually, they're two of the top golfers in the world. Collectively, their shared antipathy has the potential to become an issue.

To some extent, it's already impacting the U.S. squad because Stricker said he's unlikely to put the warring stars together on the same two-man team.

Talent alone isn't enough to win the Ryder Cup and a lack of teamwork has torpedoed the United States in the past. Perhaps having the shared goal of bringing the country its second title in three events is enough for Koepka and DeChambeau to tolerate each other for a few days.