It has not taken long for the Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka feud to attract the attention of the police.
Officers were bizarrely called into action on the second day of the Memorial tournament when DeChambeau demanded hecklers were thrown out.
Their offence? It seems they were shouting “let’s go Brooksy” at DeChambeau, 28, and as soon as they did, the golfer and his caddie, Tim Tucker, were busy pointing out the ghastly fiends to the law. The PGA Tour confirmed the reports.
“Bryson had an issue with some spectators and notified security, who dealt with them,” a statement said. In truth, the evicted did not miss an awful lot when it came to the golf of DeChambeau, the reigning US Open champion who will be defending his title at Torrey Pines in two weeks’ time.
The world No 4 was in a battle to make the cut at the event he won three years ago. Perhaps it was the distraction at the horror of being referred to as somebody else – albeit somebody with three more majors – but it certainly made DeChambeau’s claim to Koepka that “I am living rent-free in your head” look extremely ironic.
That taunt came in the midst of the duo’s latest back-and-forth. The spat began a few years ago when DeChambeau believed Koepka had accused him of slow play and then built as DeChambeau made fun of Koepk abdominal muscles. The schoolyard shenanigans flared up again at last month’s USPGA when a videotape was leaked of Koepka rolling his eyes as DeChambeau walked noisily behind him as he conducted a TV interview.
“I lost my train of thought hearing that b——-,” Koepka said, asking for a retake. “F—, Christ.” Cue social media mayhem with the pair duly stirring it up still further. Where will it end? Koepka is not playing this week, but will, of course, be at Torrey.
However, the likelihood of the US Golf Association pairing them together in San Diego is now hovering millimetres above zero. Steve Stricker, the US Ryder Cup captain, will simply pray they can patch it up before they join each other in the home teamroom at Whistling Straits in September.
Meanwhile, there was a $9.3 million event taking place, with Rory Mcilroy also in a fight to make the last two rounds in Ohio. Thursday’s storms meant the Northern Irishman having to return to play the 16 holes remaining of his first round and then straight back out to play his second round. After a one-over 72, he remained on the same mark with five remaining.
Ian Poulter faces nervy wait as he aims to play at US Open
Ian Poulter faces a nervous wait over the weekend to see if he did enough with last Sunday’s remarkable finish in Texas to qualify for the US Open. But the Englishman is ready to play in Monday’s 36-hole qualifying shootout if there is any doubt whatsoever.
Poulter, 45, birdied the last two holes at Colonial to come in a tie for third at the Charles Schwab Challenge. There both featured him holing 30-footers, but he knew exactly what was required.
“I need to be in the top 60 in the world rankings in Monday’s cut-off point and realised that I had to make threes on the 17th and 18th to have any chance,” Poulter told Telegraph Sport. “You could say I was fired up, yes.
“Those birdies helped me rise to 56th in the world, but although the stats guys say it is ‘highly likely’ that I’ll still be in the top 60 after this week’s events on the PGA and European Tours, it’s not guaranteed.
“A few guys could easily go past me in rankings, as they are all playing this week at the Memorial. It’s also complicated by the fact that the Porsche Open will now finish on Monday (after Germany altered its coronavirus regulation) and somebody in Hamburg could knock me out at the 11th hour.
“It’s a nightmare really, but it looks as if I’ll have to go up to Hilton Head on Sunday for Monday qualifying. I’m playing in the Palmetto Championship next week and that is near Hilton Head. It might prove that I play in qualifying and then find it was unnecessary, but there’s not much I can do about it. I want to be at Torrey Pines for the US Open in a fortnight’s time.”
Poulter makes no secret of his desire to be in Padraig Harrington’s Ryder Cup team at Whistling Straits in September and understandably believes missing a major could harm his candidature. His fine display at Colonial was the veteran’s best result in more than two years and hurtled him up the Ryder Cup standings into 17th place.
Yet with only the top nine certain to tee it up in Wisconsin and with the likes of Shane Lowry, Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia also on the outside, it could be a dogfight for Harrington’s three captain’s picks.
Poulter wished to play in the Memorial, the $9.5 million Ohio event that concludes on Sunday, but did not get in due to his PGA Tour status and needed an invite. He did not receive one, but the sponsors did grant an exemption to Harrington.