Brooks Koepka‘s nasty feud with Bryson DeChambeau is the talk of the golf world right now. The two bombers stoked the fire even more ahead of this weekend’s British Open by recounting how the beef started in the first place.
Koepka has had the upper hand in the rivalry of late because of his stellar major championship performances, whereas DeChambeau‘s one advantage has always been his longer distance off the tee. But in the first round of The Open on Thursday, Koepka flexed on his biggest foe by nearly driving the green of a 417-yard par-4.
Brooks Koepka kicks off the British Open with a 1-under 69
If you woke up at a normal time for your 9-to-5 on Thursday, you probably missed every shot of Koepka’s first round at the 2021 British Open. The World No. 8 kicked off his championship at 3:03 a.m. ET, so most golf fans didn’t even get to see his eventful start to the week.
Koepka started off slowly at Royal St. George’s with an early bogey at the second hole, but he rebounded with a birdie at the par-4 5th. He finished off his front 9 in style with a birdie to go out in 34.
Another birdie at the par-5 14th pushed Koepka to 2-under and just a few shots off the early lead. However, he closed out the round in disappointing fashion with a bogey on the 18th hole to finish with a 1-under 69.
After the morning wave finished up, Koepka found himself five shots back of leader Louis Oosthuizen. But with three full rounds left to play, there’s plenty of time for the long-hitting American to get back in the mix.
Koepka flexes on Bryson DeChambeau by nearly driving a 417-yard hole
Watching the Open Championship is always fascinating because of the unpredictable weather. You can experience all four seasons in one round at The Open, but one constant always remains no matter what: Wind.
The blustering wind at Royal St. George’s was mostly subdued on Thursday morning, but gusts still reached as high as 15 miles per hour. Most of the time, a fierce wind is only going to hurt a player trying to shape a shot through the unpredictable air, but the English breeze only helped Koepka on his longest drive of the day.
On the par-4 10th hole, which measured 417 yards long on Thursday, Koepka unleashed a drive downwind that bounded through the fairway and nearly reached the front of the green. It was his longest drive of the day by far, and not even DeChambeau could match it when he stepped to the 10th tee later in the day.
Unfortunately for Koepka, though, he couldn’t even convert the monster drive into a birdie.
Koepka bests DeChambeau by two strokes in round one
Whenever golf fans check the PGA Tour leaderboard nowadays, the first two names they look for are Koepka’s and DeChambeau’s. Since the two aren’t getting paired together in tournaments recently, all we can do is watch to see which big hitter finishes higher by the end of the weekend.
Koepka got an early head start on his archnemesis with a 1-under 69, while DeChambeau finished with a 1-over 71.
If DeChambeau misses the Open Championship cut after getting surprisingly outshined by Koepka on the tee, he’ll never hear the end of it.