It’s happening! Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka to face off in Vegas Match
It’s the showdown the entire golf world has been begging for.
Now it’s happening.
After months of back-and-forth, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka are set to face off in golf’s equivalent of a prize fight: a 12-hole match in Las Vegas. Their showdown will be the fifth edition of The Match, each one presented by Turner Sports, and will take place the day after Thanksgiving at The Wynn Golf Club, just steps from the Strip.
The Nov. 26 meeting will be the first one-on-one matchup since the original edition, which pitted Tiger Woods against Phil Mickelson the day after Thanksgiving in 2018.
This time around, DeChambeau and Koepka will play a 12-hole match, settling their feud on the course. Both players will be mic’d up and Turner broadcasters Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson are expected to be on the call. The Match V will be the first that won’t include Mickelson as a competitor, though he is expected to still be involved in some capacity.
An official announcement including further details on format and stakes is expected later this week.
Brooks vs. Bryson: The Rivalry
The showdown will attempt to settle a lengthy feud between DeChambeau and Koepka that dates back to January 2019, when Koepka took a shot at DeChambeau’s pace of play. “I just don’t understand how it takes a minute and 20 seconds, or a minute and 15 to hit a golf ball — it’s not that hard,” he said. Things escalated with a confrontation at the Northern Trust, the first event of 2019 FedEx Cup Playoffs, when the two spoke on the putting green, but they ultimately agreed to bury the hatchet.
But the peace agreement didn’t last forever; DeChambeau took a shot at Koepka’s physique in the ESPN Body Issue, Koepka fired back with a photo of his trophies, and so on.
Things re-escalated this spring when a video leaked from the PGA Championship showing an outtake from a Koepka interview with Todd Lewis. In the video, DeChambeau and his caddie walk by chatting mid-interview and Koepka does little to hide his annoyance, rolling his eyes, unleashing a few choice words and ultimately unleashing the rivalry’s next chapter.
When DeChambeau’s partnership with Aaron Rodgers was announced for the last Match — facing off against Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson — Koepka chimed in on Twitter, leading to a brief back-and-forth.
The next chapter was perhaps the strangest: Koepka’s fans started calling DeChambeau “Brooksy” at events, which escalated to fans getting kicked out of tournaments for heckling, Koepka offering those fans free beer, and ’round and ’round the circle went. There were plenty more micro-developments — which you can peruse here — but the two promised to play nice at the Ryder Cup, where they finished the week with a hug in front of assembled media.
Now it’s time to see if they ramp up the trash-talk once again.
The course they’ll be competing on is the newly remade Wynn Golf Club, which reopened in 2019 after plans to turn it into a water park were abandoned. Tom Fazio originally designed the course and was also in charge of the redesign, which he worked on with his son Logan. It boasts among the highest greens fees in the country, charging $550 per round upon reopening.
Before the property was the Wynn it was home to the Desert Inn, a resort and casino with a golf course which at one point played host to annual events on the PGA Tour (The Las Vegas Invitational), LPGA Tour (The Las Vegas International) and Champions Tour (The Las Vegas Senior Classic). It was also a favorite haunt of Frank Sinatra, among other high-profile Vegas performers.
The course promises both an escape from the Strip and a scenic view of the same; its pro shop sits adjacent to gaming tables but once you’re into the backyard, it’s hard to believe that tree-lined fairways could be such a quick trip away. The final few holes offer a prime look at the Vegas skyline and the finisher — the beefy par-3 18th, measuring close to 250 yards from the tips — is backed by a massive waterfall. Make an ace, though, and you’ll receive a proper payout: between $10,000 and $20,000, depending on your tee box.
The first edition of The Match pitted Tiger Woods against Phil Mickelson at Shadow Creek, also in Las Vegas; Mickelson won on the fourth playoff hole.
For the second Match, both legends returned but with partners: Woods played with Peyton Manning, while Mickelson brought in Tom Brady. They played at Medalist, Woods’ home course, and Woods and Manning held off a late charge to win 1 up.
The Match III featured Mickelson and Charles Barkley at Stone Canyon in Arizona; the two took down Manning and Steph Curry 4 and 3.
The latest Match took place this summer and featured DeChambeau and Rodgers, who defeated Team Brady/Mickelson 3 and 2.