Koepka, DeChambeau play nice and play well together

·2-min read

Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau insist they ended their beef long ago.

They've hugged it out. They've made their money. They've moved on. They're at different points in their careers now. Different parts of their lives.

As if to prove it, Koepka and DeChambeau spent five soggy hours at Oak Hill on Saturday quietly and professionally going about their business, largely ignoring catcalls from a gallery half-heartedly attempting to re-ignite the duo's petty if entertaining feud in which the vast majority of shots were traded over social media.

At the first tee, there were boos that felt more of the "New York being New York" variety than personal when two of the highest-profile players to bolt the PGA Tour for fledgling Saudi-backed LIV Golf were introduced.

After nearly every shot there were shouts of "Brooksy," a chant designed to unsettle DeChambeau that became so ubiquitous in 2021 that PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan vaguely lamented "we have gotten away from the very civility and respect that are hallmarks to our great game."

That civility was on full display as Koepka put together a four-under 66 that vaulted him into the 54-hole lead at six under, with DeChambeau three back after a 70.

There were no fireworks. No rolled eyes. No body language suggesting they'd rather be somewhere - anywhere - else. Just two guys trying to reclaim their spot among the best in the world, albeit in stylistically different ways.

"I think we have a common goal, growth of the game," DeChambeau said. "We have franchises to focus on now and also good golf to play."

"I'll be honest with you, I don't pay too much attention to who I'm playing with," Koepka said. "I don't talk a lot. I'm more focused on what I've got to do."

DeChambeau began the week having registered just two top 10s since joining LIV and its 48-man fields. He missed the cut at the Masters, finding himself farther and farther away from the conversation surrounding the game he briefly dominated.

While the 28-year-old DeChambeau insists he's a more mature player these days, the boos that came from the grandstand at the first tee did not go unnoticed.

"It's New York, and I expect it here, I appreciate the fans, them doing that to me," he said. "It's like, 'OK, cool, no problem.' I've got no problem, either way."