Brooks vs. Bryson: A timeline explaining golf's newest rivalry
Warning: Video contains coarse language
In case you missed it, here is the viral video, in which a perturbed Koepka can't even finish his thought during a Golf Channel interview while DeChambeau walks behind him, talking loudly and making a lot of noise with his metal spikes.
That type of disgust takes years to build up, and multiple incidents between the two heavyweights help explain why Koepka may not be sending DeChambeau a Christmas card every year.
Let's take a trip down memory lane to help understand how golf's biggest rivalry came to be.
Jan. 27, 2019
Friction between the two first became apparent in early 2019, when Koepka - a notoriously fast player - indirectly called out DeChambeau for his turtle-esque pace of play.
Here is the clip that spurred Koepka's remarks:
“I just don't understand how it takes a minute and 20 seconds, a minute and 15 to hit a golf ball; it's not that hard,” Koepka said to Michael Weston on the "Golf Monthly Clubhouse" podcast.
"It's always between two clubs; there's a miss short, there's a miss long. It really drives me nuts, especially when it's a long hitter, because you know you've got two other guys or at least one guy that's hitting before you, so you can do all your calculations; you should have your numbers."
It's pretty obvious who Koepka is referring to when he says "long hitter" and "do all your calculations."
Aug. 11, 2019
Later in the season, DeChambeau found himself in another pace-of-play controversy at the Northern Trust. Two separate viral videos showed DeChambeau taking over two minutes to hit a shot, one of which was a relatively short putt.
Feeling attacked, DeChambeau took issue with criticism from his rival.
After Koepka heard that DeChambeau wanted him to say whatever he had to say about slow play to his face, the two met on the driving range at Liberty National.
“He just walked up to my caddie and said he wanted to talk, and so I just went and found him, but keep that between us,” Koepka said, according to Golf Monthly's Elliott Heath.
"It's not just him. I know he feels singled out, especially when I'm speaking about it. But it's like I told him, it's not - I've mentioned his name once, and that's it."
Aug. 13, 2019
Two days later, DeChambeau and Koepka joined ESPN's Michael Collins for a joint interview on SiriusXM Radio. Collins said, "People acted like the two of y'all were going to fight," referring to the driving-range meeting at Liberty National.
"Let's be honest, we know who would win that fight," DeChambeau said, according to Golfweek's Bill Speros. "And it's not me. Let me tell you right now, he'd kick my ass."
Koepka immediately agreed: "I do know that. You got that right."
And with that, tensions seemed to cool for the offseason.
Jan. 15, 2020
However, the rivalry reheated in early 2020 when DeChambeau took a jab at Koepka's physique after the latter appeared in ESPN Magazine's Body Issue.
Bryson was not impressed with Koepka's abs - or lack thereof - and boasted about his own midsection during a live stream on Twitch.
One day later, the four-time major winner responded with the ultimate comeback.
A key aspect of the body-shaming incident: At one point, it was Koepka who inspired DeChambeau's efforts to bulk up in order to overpower golf courses.
"For example, Brooks and what he was able to do at Bethpage Black. He just obliterated the golf course with his strength, and that's something that I admired and wanted to try to model myself after," DeChambeau said at the 2020 U.S. Open, according to ASAP Sports.
July 4, 2020
In the midst of his Rocket Mortgage Classic win, DeChambeau confronted a cameraman who - in DeChambeau's opinion - followed a little too closely as the long-hitting American walked around the green.
"He was literally watching me the whole entire way up after getting out of the bunker, walking up next to the green," DeChambeau said, according to Golf Channel's Will Gray. "And I just was like, 'Sir, what is the need to watch me that long?'
"I mean, I understand it's his job to video me, but at the same point, I think we need to start protecting our players out here compared to showing a potential vulnerability and hurting someone's image. I just don't think that's necessarily the right thing to do."
A few days later, Koepka tweeted a GIF in which Kenny Powers from "Eastbound & Down" attacks a cameraman amid steroid allegations.
It’s not hard to interpret this as Koepka insinuating that DeChambeau is using a performance-enhancing substance.
July 30, 2020
At the WGC-St. Jude Invitational, DeChambeau found himself in a rules debate, arguing that his ball had come to rest near a bunch of fire ants. Ants are considered burrowing animals under the rules of golf, and he would have been entitled to a free drop if his ball was resting on an anthill.
The rules official didn't see enough fire ants (if any) and denied DeChambeau's attempt to improve his lie.
The next day, Koepka joked about ants with his caddie.
May 26, 2021
The latest chapter of the Brooks-Bryson drama took place after the newest edition of The Match was announced Wednesday. The event features a team of Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady taking on Aaron Rodgers and ... you guessed it ... DeChambeau.
Trash talk between the four contestants took place on Twitter, as it normally does ahead of these made-for-TV events. But Koepka chimed in with a simple expression of pity for Rodgers.
Koepka was criticized for letting DeChambeau live "rent free" in his head after the video of the Golf Channel interview surfaced earlier in the week and re-energized the rivalry.
DeChambeau ran with the idea that Koepka is always thinking about him.
DeChambeau responded to Koepka's comment to Rodgers, again taking the "rent-free" angle. Koepka fired back with a video where a fan called Bryson "Brooksy" and clearly agitated the reigning U.S. Open champ.
Perhaps both players are living in each other's heads?
Either way, the Brooks-Bryson saga is far from over. They are two of the best players in the world, they obviously do not get along, and they're destined to be teammates in Ryder and Presidents Cups for years to come.
They will undoubtedly cross paths in some of the biggest events on the calendar, and whenever that happens next, the sports world will be watching.
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