Jack Nicklaus on Brooks vs. Bryson and playing in the social-media age: ‘It would drive you crazy’

For starters, Jack Nicklaus doesn’t believe the Brooks Koepka vs. Bryson DeChambeau feud/rivalry/drama is as big of a deal as some are making it out to be.

“I don’t know whether there’s a feud or not,” said Nicklaus, when speaking to reporters on Tuesday at the Memorial, the tournament he hosts. “If a feud is there, my guess it was probably more media-driven than Bryson or Brooks. I don’t think either one of them are driven in that direction.”

Nicklaus, in his customary lengthy press conference ahead of the Memorial — which was even longer this year as he went over Muirfield Village’s course renovation — spoke on several topics, among them the spat between Koepka and DeChambeau.

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While the two have had their run-ins in the past, things took another turn last week when a leaked video of Koepka seemingly bothered by DeChambeau, or something he said, hit the internet. The two later traded jabs on social media.

“Could I imagine playing when I played to have social media the way it is today? It would drive you crazy,” Nicklaus said. “I don’t care what you do, you’re not right or you’re not wrong. You got a side to everything and everybody debates everything. I mean, we got Aunt Julie from Grove City getting Peter H. from Hilliard and they’re arguing over something that means nothing, right? You know what I’m talking about.”

Nicklaus went on to talk about his relationship with Arnold Palmer and how it might relate to DeChambeau and Koepka.

“Did we have arguments with guys? Sure we all had arguments. Arnold and I were the best of friends, but Arnold and I have a feud every once in awhile? Sure,” Nicklaus said. “… Arnold and I, 99 percent of the time agreed on everything that should be good for the game of golf. We didn’t agree on some things, but that’s OK. But, you know, every time I needed support, Arnold had my back and every time he needed support, you know, I had his back. … In the end, I don’t think you would find Bryson and Brooks to be any different.”

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at GOLF.com. The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.