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Brooks Koepka is not even playing this week at The Memorial, but the galleries have kept his recent feud with Bryson DeChambeau going.
Spectators at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio taunted DeChambeau with chants of “Go Brooks” and “Brooksie” during the 33 holes he played Friday due to heavy rain the previous day.
“Oh, they weren’t taunts at all. It was flattering,” DeChambeau told reporters after finishing the second round tied for 35th at 1-under par, nine strokes off the lead. “I think it’s absolutely flattering what they’re doing. They can keep calling me that all day if they want to, I’ve got no issue with it.
“When you look at it, to most people, they think it’s a distraction, but I grew up learning how to deal with that stuff and I honestly thought it was flattering.”
Two weeks earlier, Koepka had halted an interview during the PGA Championship when DeChambeau walked behind him. The video of Koepka rolling his eyes and muttering a curse word went viral.
Koepka, who is not playing in the tournament, contributed to the back-and-forth Friday by retweeting a post from one Twitter user saying fans had the right to taunt players. Later in the day, he tweeted a video of himself joking “What’s up guys, it’s Brooksie,” thanking fans for supporting him.
“I heard a bunch of you were shouting my name at the golf tournament today,” Koepka said. “I know I’m not playing, but thank you for showing support.”
Approximately 10 spectators were ejected from the tournament Friday, ESPN reported, but DeChambeau stressed he did not ask for them to be booted. “The officers take care of that. I don’t really care,” he said, adding the chants only are a problem if people yell during his swing.
“Look, I’ve got nothing against [Koepka],” the 2020 U.S. Open champion said. “I’ve got no issues at all. If he wants to play that game, that’s great. I’m going to keep trying to play my best game and when it comes down to it, when somebody’s that bothered by someone else it is flattering.”
One of his playing partners on Friday, Jordan Spieth, said it was clear the “Brooks” chants were directed at DeChambeau.
“I hear a lot of stuff. I’ve had people tell me I suck to my face for a long time, so you just kind of zone everything out,” Spieth said. “But certainly, any bad hole, someone was yelling it and then any good hole people were yelling, ‘Go, Bryson’ almost louder. It was like a pseudo rivalry and [Koepka is] not even here.
“[DeChambeau] mentioned it to me at one point and I said, ‘All anyone wants is a reaction and you give it to them, then it’s going to get worse.’ So it didn’t seem to bother him. As far as pairings go, if you’re paired with Patrick [Reed], you hear some of the worst stuff from the crowd. The whole thing was interesting last week, for sure.”
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