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Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau Say Hug at 2021 Ryder Cup Was 'Forced'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVNovember 23, 2021

AP Photo/File

One hug was not about to end the rivalry between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.

While Koepka and DeChambeau hugged as part of the celebration after helping lead the United States to a Ryder Cup win over Europe, they each said fans shouldn't read too much into it ahead of Capital One's The Match.

"I wouldn't put much on a forced hug," Koepka said, per Christopher Powers of Golf Digest.

"It was definitely a little forced," DeChambeau said. "The team wanted us to do it, and to be honest I was surprised he did it. But I'm a guy that can put things behind me pretty quickly when you apologize and then we can move along. But it definitely felt forced, there wasn't an apology or anything like that. Until I get an apology for what he's said and what not, nothing will change."

It looked like the rivalry may have simmered some at the Ryder Cup considering United States captain Steve Stricker told reporters they wanted to play together even before the hug:

Dylan Dethier @dylan_dethier

Brooks and Bryson finish the presser by hugging it out in the middle of the room <a href="https://t.co/qxOBXjsu7H">pic.twitter.com/qxOBXjsu7H</a>

However, DeChambeau said the hatred is "all real on my end," while Koepka added, "I've never really liked him."

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The back-and-forth between the players took center stage this year with fans taunting DeChambeau by yelling "Brooksie" at him and Tom Brady tweeting out memes featuring the pair.

It even reached a point where PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said fans who call DeChambeau "Brooksie" may be ejected. DeChambeau confronted a fan who called him that at the BMW Championship, per Kevin Van Valkenburg of ESPN.

They will have a chance to settle their differences Friday during the 12-hole event that will take place at Wynn Golf Course in Las Vegas.

The event will be broadcast live on TNT at 4 p.m. ET with simulcast coverage available on TBS, truTV and HLN.

DeChambeau is familiar with The Match considering he teamed up with Aaron Rodgers and earned a win over Brady and Phil Mickelson in July. He will look to defend his crown in a one-on-one showdown with his rival this time around.         

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