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Just imagine it, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau in the same opening group at the U.S. Open. We need this. Professional golf dwarfing every other event on the planet for two days. Keeping up with it on social media? Good luck keeping it all straight as it blows by on your screen.

This grouping is the gift the U.S. Golf Association needs to give us at Torrey Pines for the 121st U.S. Open. Sports are always better when there is some skin in the game, and Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau do not like each other. Not at all. They won’t even pretend. The bad blood isn’t a manufactured, made-for-TV rivalry. No, this is an old-fashioned feud. There’s no faking what went down between the two when their paths crossed at the PGA Championship.

Brooks Koepka doesn’t even care

While giving what wound up being an unaired interview to the Golf Channel, Brooks Koepka talked about the round he had just completed. There was the clatter of metal spikes coming from off-camera, and there were muffled voices. Koepka froze with his eyes shut as Bryson DeChambeau sauntered by.

In an NSFW aside, he excused himself for losing his train of thought while alluding to something DeChambeau said in passing. When told the clip would be a hit back in the production truck, Koepka kept it honest.

“I don’t even care.”

Brooks Koepka

It’s just the latest entry on a laundry list of dust-ups between the two major championship winners. What set Koepka off was what DeChambeau reportedly said while walking by. Koepka had talked about his difficulty reading the Kiawah Island Ocean Course. Many on social media suggest DeChambeau muttered, “Just gotta start it on the right line.”

In fairness to Brooks, no one likes a kibitzer.

Bryson DeChambeau has done his share of escalating

Bryson DeChambeau turned the pandemic into an opportunity to bulk up. A lot. He’s driving the ball further than any other player ever has consistently. The added power helped him to a Masters victory in 2020. That gets him to within three of Koepka’s total of major championships. Koepka is a two-time winner of both the U.S. Open and PGA Championship.

DeChambeau hit back at Koepka’s criticism of his slow pace of play, per USA Today. There’s some truth to the complaint, to be fair. If some players can have their pace timed on a stopwatch, a sundial is often the most appropriate device to measure DeChambeau.

We get it; it’s not weekend duffers gripping and ripping. But listening to DeChambeau and his caddy discuss a shot sounds like a nightmare about auditing an advanced calculus class. Koepka has tormented DeChambeau. DeChambeau has responded. And so on. DeChambeau barked at a fan at the PGA Championship who shouted, “All right, Brooksy!” after a tee shot.

The grouping made, if not in heaven, at least in a lot of dreams

Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau
Brooks Koepka (far left) and Bryson DeChambeau (second from left) were smiling during this group photo for the 42nd Ryder Cup in 2018. Since then the relationship has deteriorated. | Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images

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One person would be the actual victim should the USGA grant the wish and pair Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open. That would be the unfortunate third member of the group. On the other hand, though, it would be the lowest-pressure environment one could imagine on that enormous stage.

All the eyes of the world would be on the group, but exactly none of them focused on Individual-3. No, this would be the Brooks and Bryson Show, and that third wheel would be part of the background scenery. The rest of us, meanwhile, would be grabbing the popcorn and settling in for what could be a riveting couple of days.