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'He's not popular in the locke...
Golf

'He's not popular in the locker room' | The Koepka v DeChambeau rivalry

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

09:31 7 Aug 2020

The needle of the Bryson DeChambeau-Brooks Koepka rivalry is one of the key narratives around the ongoing US PGA in San Francisco.

Koepka is attempting to win the tournament for the third year running, while 'The Mad Scientist' DeChambeau has already had a number of digs thrown at him.

Speaking to Sky Sports after his opening four-under 66 yesterday at TPC Harding Park, Koepka said he wasn't going to overthink his shots, in a clear reference to DeChambeau's in-depth style.

“[It's] just a major, I’ll get up for it, a little bit of confidence I guess. At the end of the day I feel good, I’m playing good. There’s no reason to be scientific with all the numbers and stuff like that on TrackMan, just go out and go play.”

Former European Tour golfer and current professional at The K Club, Gary Murphy told OTB AM this morning that he's not the biggest fan of DeChambeau's long-hitting methods.

"He's a very interesting character. He's hitting the ball crazy distances, although Adam Scott did give him a nice dig saying he thought he'd be a bit longer than what he was.

"DeChambeau is a strange character. He's box-office. I don't necessarily like the way he plays as such, I don't think it's something for everyone to copy.

"Probably all golf coaches will get a lot of business out of it. Listen, he's a superstar player who has only been in the pro game four-and-a-half or five years. He's certainly box-0ffice, but I'm not a huge fan of the way he does things.

"I always prefer the artist golfer. I know with modern technology the players are so fit now, it's almost nearly a lost art.

"The way he played the first hole - he just stands up and hits it 50 yards left and it's still a little flick of the wedge into the green.

"This course in theory will suit him because, as Mickelson did, you can cross fairways and not really get into trouble. It seems to be the further off line you are here, the easier it is - which should in theory play into his hands.

"I don't want this to be the norm in 10 years' time, and unfortunately with certain players it's probably the way it's going to go. Young kids are going to watch this and go 'I'm going to get in the gym, hit it as far as I possibly can and go find it.'

"I think the strategy to golf is something we should try to hang on to if we can."

Murphy added that he feels four-time major winner Koepka needs rivalry to add pressure on himself to perform to his best level.

"I'd say Patrick Reed is delighted because it seems to have taken all the heat off him! There's no doubt that DeChambeau seems to be a divisive character, and Koepka seems to have taken on the role as spokesperson for everybody else.

"Brooks is saying everything that they're thinking. He's not that popular in the locker room, DeChambeau. I like him for the fact that he's a young kid that's come out and he's doing it his own way.

"You really have to admire that. But I think Koepka is just trying to play mind games almost with himself. The difference between him in regular events and majors... he seems to have to play mind games with himself to get himself up for majors.

"Putting himself under pressure to say he's going to perform is what works for him. He's taking on DeChambeau, which is great fun for us, but I think it's just another tool for him to get his mind into a place where he's going to demand a performance."

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Read more about

Brooks Koepka Bryson DeChambeau Gary Murphy Golf Otb Am US PGA

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