In addition to getting under the skin of his hard-hitting rival, Brooks Koepka may have an added incentive to keep his very real beef with Bryson DeChambeau in the news: bonus cash.
Thanks to the PGA Tour’s new Player Impact Program, which is handing out $40 million in bonus money to 10 players based on their popularity rather than their performance, Koepka has every reason to keep beefing with DeChambeau even though he isn’t currently playing.
That may have played a part in the 31-year-old encouraging his fans by offering them free beer on social media after many of them were kicked out of the Memorial Tournament last week for chanting “Hey Brooksy!” at DeChambeau during the first two rounds at Muirfield Village.
While DeChambeau initially played the taunting off and said the name-calling was “flattering,” he later said his agent has spoken with the PGA about Koepka and their feud and that the Tour should get involved.
“I think that’s something that the Tour needs to handle. It’s something I can’t control,” DeChambeau said, via Golf Digest. “I tried to take the high road numerous times, and I think that, from my perspective, I’ll continue to keep doing so and people are going to do what they want to do.”
Since the Player Impact Program uses five metrics — Google search popularity, Nielsen brand exposure rating, Q score, MVP Index rating and Meltwater mentions (the frequency that a player generates coverage across various media platforms) — that don’t necessarily correlate with on-course performance to measure popularity, Koepka has millions of reasons to keep needling DeChambeau, especially while he isn’t earning money from playing due to injury.
It’s a viable strategy and having the backing of Barstool Sports certainly isn’t going to hurt Koepka’s online visibility either …
“Are we truly on the verge of a clickbait era in professional golf, where players pursue feuds and other negative ploys to ratchet up their Q scores?” Golf Digest asked last month. “I don’t know. What’s clear, though, is that in the Koepka-DeChambeau drama we’ve witnessed an accidental example of how effective it can be. Combine human nature with the ‘follow the money’ truism and, to quote Bob Dylan, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
At this point, it looks cloudy with a chance of cash windfalls for Koepka — and maybe DeChambeau as well.
“I’m happy that there’s more conversations about me because of the PIP Fund,” he said, via Golf Digest “It’s more about how — 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. That’s about it. But from my perspective, I mean, if he keeps talking about me, that’s great for the PIP Fund.”
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