Bryson DeChambeau, on the tee on the 540-yard, par-5 5th at Muirfield Village, positioned himself right on Saturday, while everyone before him through two rounds at the Memorial had lined up straight ahead. He was going to hit at the trees. Or, more specifically, over them. DeChambeau tapped his driver three times on the ground, pulled it back and whipped his body through.
“See ya!” one fan yelled.
“Wooooo!” dozens of others shouted.
DeChambeau had cut the corner on the dogleg-left hole as maybe only golf’s longest hitter can. His drive went 357 yards, but his angle of attack now gave him just 143 left — again, on a 540-yard hole. Even playing partner Jordan Spieth wanted to talk about it as they walked down the fairway.
“I was trying to have my face say, we want to see it, you know?” Spieth said of trying the shot.
“For sure. I’m glad I did it,” DeChambeau said.
For at least a hole, “Bryson” — and Bryson alone — was the conversation. if there were a shout of “Brooksy,” it was drowned out.
A day earlier, there were “a lot” of “Brooksies,” according to Spieth, and it led to at least three ejections from the tournament, according to GOLF’s James Colgan, the latest turn in the two-year-long Brooks-Bryson beef. The feud was renewed two weeks ago after the release of a previously unseen video in which Koepka showed his disgust toward DeChambeau at the PGA Championship, and it took another turn recently when a video surfaced showing DeChambeau’s disgust toward a fan shouting “Brooksy” after a swing.
Which brings us to this week’s Memorial, DeChambeau’s first tournament since the release of the videos (Koepka is not playing this week). After Friday’s round, DeChambeau said the Brooksies were “flattering” — and Brooksy himself apparently thought so, too. About two hours after DeChambeau’s round, he took to social media to offer beer to any fan “in case your time was cut short, had any trouble at the tournament.”
After his round on Saturday, DeChambeau said he had “heard” about the video through his manager. He’d then thank Saturday’s fans. Then, in a slight twist, he’d thank Koepka, too.
In response to a reporter’s question of whether “it’s good that people are talking about golf:” DeChambeau said: “I mean, I don’t even know how to answer that question. Like for, from an integrity standpoint and an honor of the game standpoint, you know, the game has always been played in a certain way. 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. I’m happy that there’s more conversations about me because of the PIP fund.”
The PIP fund, short for the Player Impact Program, was started by the PGA Tour at the start of the year, and, from a pot of $40 million, it will reward 10 players based off their “Impact Score,” an amalgam of metrics based largely on popularity. Or, in other words, the more you say, tweet or Google “Bryson” or “Brooks,” the more Bryson and Brooks may make.
Still, DeChambeau also said his agent has talked with the Tour.
“Yeah, it’s more about how, I think, and this is what I don’t really know about, but I think it’s something along the lines of how the Tour wants players to act, I think. That’s about it. But from my perspective, I mean, if he keeps talking about me, that’s great for the PIP fund.”