There is no love lost between bitter rivals Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka – but they will shelve their rivalry to help regain the Ryder Cup for Team USA at Whistling Straits
Bryson DeChambeau has been compared to Michael Jordan by a team-mate at the Ryder Cup.
And last year’s US Open champion teased there will be “something fun coming up here” with Brooks Koepka as Team USA put up a united front before facing Europe this week.
Captain Steve Stricker said on Monday that peace talks between DeChambeau and Koepka have seen their running feud postponed in the national interest.
DeChambeau remains a controversial figure who has not spoken to the press since claiming his driver “sucks” at the Open in July – before a public rebuke from his club manufacturer.
But rookie Scott Sheffler said: “The perceptions are around him, it’s whatever the public creates. I think everybody has an opinion on him.
“I have an opinion on him, as well. I think he’s a fantastic guy. I’ve known him since college. He’s always been nothing but gracious and kind to me, and he means really well.
“I think sometimes people take little tidbits of what he says and try and beat him down a little bit, and I think that’s kind of what happens in sports is people get built up and then they get torn down once they reach the top.
“I think it’s something you’ve seen for a long time. I’ve watched The Last Dance a couple of times, and it’s something you saw with Jordan, as well.
“When people make it really big like Bryson has, I think some people try and tear him down a little bit. Fantastic guy, he’s got a heart, and I really have nothing but good things to say about him.”
DeChambeau tried to claim the feud “has definitely been driven by a lot of external factors, not necessarily us two”.
He added: “We had some great conversations at TOUR Championship week when we had dinner, and then this week, as well. I sat down and had dinner with him last night, and it was fine.
“I think there may be something fun coming up here moving forward, but won’t speak too much more on that.”
And asked about his controversial reputation, the world No.7 said: “Look, I’m not trying to change anybody’s perception. All I’m trying to do is showcase what I can do for the game of golf. Whether people like it or not, that’s their interpretation of it.
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“For me, again, I’m going to keep providing people with the best entertainment I possibly can, and some people may not like it, some people love it.
“Again, I’m now doing stuff on TikTok and Instagram and YouTube, just doing to do things a little different because I want to show people who I actually am. I think it’s cool when they get to see behind the scenes a little bit, see what I do during my daily life.
“It kind of opens it up to, whoa, this isn’t just this person because of what people think about me out on the golf course, this is actually a human being.
“At the end of the day it’s not about changing anybody’s perception. I think it’s about getting the crowd behind us and allowing us to, I guess you could say, rile us up to win the Cup.”
DeChambeau has been targeted by Koepka fans with taunts of “Brooks” on the PGA Tour this season. So after failing to win a point in Paris on his 2018 debut, he was asked if winning four or five here this week could change attitudes towards him.
“Look, I’m going to try to get as many points as I can, and I think yeah, that could potentially change it for sure,” he said.
“There’s always going to be people saying things no matter what it is. Even if I do something — if I make a hole-in-one on every single hole out here, there’s always going to be people saying something.
“I’m not worried about it. I still love and respect them. I understand they have their opinions and whatnot and I respect those opinions, I see their points of view.
“But for me, again, taking it back and looking back, this is about — this isn’t about me. This is about the team going and winning the Ryder Cup.”