Bryson DeChambeau is throwing water on the idea that he turned down a grouping with Brooks Koepka at the 2021 U.S. Open.
Reports circulated on Tuesday that DeChambeau and his agent were asked by the USGA if he would play alongside Koepka and Gary Woodland. However, the reigning U.S. Open champion denied that report, saying during a media session later in the day that while he would have been “OK” with the pairing, “there was never really anything that went through me.”
He added that he thought the rivalry has been fun and is good for the game of golf.
“There’s a point where it’s great banter. I personally love it,” he said, noting that at some point, he hopes “we can play against each other and compete.”
Koepka also confirmed when he chatted with reporters that he had not been asked about playing with DeChambeau and Woodland. He too had no qualms about the duo playing the track together.
“I play my own game. I don’t care who I’m paired with,” Koepka said. “It doesn’t matter to me what goes on. It makes no difference to me. I’m out there trying to play my own game. What happens inside the ropes, it won’t bother me.”
Rick Reilly said, in a since-deleted tweet, that the USGA wanted to group DeChambeau, Koepka and Woodland together as the three most recent U.S. Open winners, but that Woodland told him DeChambeau would never do it.
When they do tee off on Thursday, DeChambeau will be grouped with Hideki Matsuyama and Tyler Strafaci and Koepka with Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas.
Koepka was also asked about the viral clip of him showing frustration during an interview at the PGA Championship when DeChambeau walked by, sparking a discussion on their rivalry. The 2017 and 2018 champion said he wasn’t to worried that the video went viral.
“I’m not concerned about what other people think,” Koepka said. “If I was concerned about what everybody else thought, I’d be in a world of pain.”
Koepka and DeChambeau both reiterated that they believe the rivalry was good for the game as it piqued interest from fans that might not ordinarily follow golf.
“For me, I’m always going to be trying to play my game and not really worry too much about what other people are doing, but I think there are just times where if it gets outside of the scope of integrity and honor, then yeah, that can get a little interesting,” DeChambeau said.
“But at the same point in time, all of it’s been good fun. It’s been fun. I mean, shoot, to be honest, people saying Brooksy’s name out there, I love it. I think it’s great. I think it’s hilarious.”