Brooks Koepka defends beef with Bryson DeChambeau: ‘It’s good for the game’
Brooks Koepka is good for golf. Bryson DeChambeau is also good for golf. But Brooks Koepka AND Bryson DeChambeau? Well, that could be great for golf, according to Koepka.
On Wednesday, Koepka spoke to the media for the first time since his feud with DeChambeau exploded via a leaked Golf Channel interview outtake with the four-time major champion. In his press conference ahead of the Palmetto Championship, Koepka stopped well short of offering an apology.
“It doesn’t bother me, honestly,” he said. “I’m okay with anything I do. I don’t really live with regrets. It’s nothing I’m terribly upset about. From everybody I spoke to, it is what it is and move on.”
In fact, Koepka wondered aloud whether his feud with Bryson was actually a good thing.
“I think it’s good for the game. I really do,” Koepka said. “The fact that golf’s on pretty much every news outlet for about two weeks pretty consistently, I think that’s a good thing. It’s growing the game.”
The most recent Brooks vs. Bryson moment came at last week’s Memorial Tournament, where fans were ejected for using Koepka’s name to taunt DeChambeau. Although after his tournament ended on Sunday, DeChambeau seemed to suggest that all the extra attention brought about by the social media drama only served to help him further.
“I think golf is changing, it’s evolving, so there’s going to come a time where it is going to be like this, and if I’m the person to take the brunt of it and whatever, you know, great,” DeChambeau said. “I’m happy that there’s more conversations about me because of the PIP fund.”
Of course, DeChambeau was referring to the PGA Tour’s new Player Impact Program, which will award the top-10 most popular players based on a composite score of their media exposure with cash from a pool of $40 million. The program began in January but was only publicly announced in April.
Two weeks removed from the leaked video incident, it seems just about the only thing the two golfers can agree on is that the attention is not a bad thing, though Koepka seems less concerned with a potential PIP payout.
“You know, the younger generation — I get the traditionalists who don’t agree with it. I understand that,” he said. “But I think to grow the game you’ve got to reach out to the younger generation, and I don’t want to say that’s what this is, but it’s reaching out to a whole bunch of people. It’s getting golf in front of people. I think it’s good for the game.”
As for those worried about the rivalry spilling onto the course in the form of intra-squad turmoil at the Ryder Cup — where both Koepka and DeChambeau appear destined to compete on the same team of 12 in September — Koepka was unconvinced.
“I don’t see why it would,” he said. “There’s only eight guys that are playing, four guys are sitting, whatever. I mean, I play with one other guy. Let’s say I don’t play with Bryson or Bryson doesn’t play with me, he takes care of his match, and I would take care of my match, and I don’t know how that has any effect. What you do off the golf course doesn’t have any effect on the golf course.”