Bryson DeChambeau vs. Brooks Koepka: How an internet meme helped fuel sports’ biggest rivalry

It’s now one of the sport’s biggest rivalries and after months of waiting, Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka will hit the course and face off in the fifth edition of “The Match” golf on November 26, the day after Thanksgiving.

DeChambeau and Koepka will face off over 12 holes at the Wynn Golf Course in Las Vegas, with the proceeds going to charity.

It’s a simmering rivalry for over two years, and it all started with a dispute over slow play and Koepka’s criticism of DeChambeau’s meticulous approach.

Koepka’s nude broadcast in ESPN’s Body Issue in 2019 was also a moment of friction between the two American golfers.

Still, to win a major at this point, DeChambeau commented on Koepka’s physique, stating on a Fortnite Twitch stream: “In the Body Issue, he didn’t have abs.

Koepka responded with a photo of his four major trophies – two from the US Open and two from the PGA Championship – with the caption: “You were right @b_dechambeau, I’m missing 2 packs of 6!”

Earlier this year, a music video of Koepka losing track of his “hearing that bulls ** t” as DeChambeau walked behind him amid a May PGA Championship interview escalated the feud from a notch.

Fuel was added to the fire by NFL superstar and seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady.

Koepka plays his shot from the seventh tee in the second round of the World Tech Championship in Mayakoba.

The 43-year-old quarterback trolled DeChambeau when announcing their two appearances in “The Match III” – alongside Phil Mickelson and Aaron Rodgers – with a series of memes targeting the winner of the US Open 2020. It was DeChambeau’s first and only major victory so far.

Fans also heckled DeChambeau at the memorial tournament, shouting “Brooksie” as he walked past and were reportedly kicked out of the event as a result.

In response, Koepka posted a video offering free beer to all spectators kicked out of the Memorial Tournament for heckling DeChambeau.

While the duo appeared to bury the hatchet during Team USA’s press conference after winning the 43rd Ryder Cup in September, that hasn’t stopped the duo from trolling.

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DeChambeau plays his shot from the seventh tee in the Saturday afternoon four-ball matches of the 43rd Ryder Cup.

DeChambeau poked fun at Koepka’s poor form when he arrived in The Match, posting a photo of his face – the one used as a meme template earlier in the year – superimposed on his last two results, in which he has missed the cut both times.

“Looks like @BKoepka is ready for the game,” he said. noted.

And during their pre-game press conferences, sparks continued to fly between the two.

Koepka questioned the extent of the rivalry between the two players, while stating: “Playing 12 holes is good. I mean, it’s better than playing 18 holes with Bryson. anything to spend less time with him. “

Earlier this year, the PGA Tour introduced its Player Impact Program, a program that aims to reward the 10 players who generate the most fan and sponsor engagement, regardless of their course results, through a pool. of $ 40 million.

According to Reuters, the player deemed the most valuable could receive a reward of $ 8 million.

“He goes out and tries to get the crowds together and didn’t make him stand up and tell me about it. Like, you know, it’s just kind of softball on me,” DeChambeau said. “I guess you could say he’s trying to move on and use social media as a platform to bother me and no we’re going to sit on the golf course.”

Now that they are both big winners and victorious Ryder Cup teammates, it will be fascinating on TV to see how the two compete against each other.

Earlier this year, the PGA Tour introduced its Player Impact Program, a program that aims to reward the 10 players who generate the most fan and sponsor engagement, regardless of their course results, through a pool. of $ 40 million.

According to Reuters, the player deemed the most valuable could receive a reward of $ 8 million.

The matchup between the two American golfers will also raise funds for Advocates Pro Golf Association Tour and Feeding America, as well as DeChambeau donating to Shriner Hospital and Koepka to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

In the previous four installments of the series, over $ 30 million has been raised for various charities and initiatives.

TNT will exclusively broadcast the event, although its coverage will be broadcast simultaneously on TBS, truTV and HLN.

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