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Bob Weeks

TSN Senior Reporter

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Hogan and Snead. Palmer and Nicklaus. Faldo and Norman. Sorenstam and Webb. Woods and Mickelson. 

Golf has had its share of great rivalries and for the most part, they’ve been rather civil as these things go. Most of the battles have taken place on the golf course. No punches thrown, only subtle verbal jabs offered.

The latest duo to knock heads, however, doesn’t seem to be playing by the golf version of the Marquis de Queensbury rules. 

There is no love lost between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau. They’ve been taking jabs at each other for a few years now with the topics ranging from slow play to abs to fire ants. 

The latest incident came after the PGA Championship when a leaked interview showed Koepka in an interview with Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis, rolling his eyes as DeChambeau noisily clicks his spikes on the pavement as he walks past behind him. The interview stops with Koepka saying he lost his train of thought and then offering up some choice words.

No one is quite sure how the video became public. It’s since been removed due to copyright violations but ignited a flurry of social media back-and-forths between the two. DeChambeau posted a video of him working out with heavy weights. Koepka added one of someone calling DeChambeau “Brooksy” as he attempts to tee off in a tournament practice round. 

Then, after a day of calmness, a charity match between Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady taking on Aaron Rogers and DeChambeau was announced, stoking the fires once again. This time Brady and Mickelson sprayed gasoline on the blaze, adding in a few of their own barbs. 

Koepka and DeChambeau have gained such notoriety for their battle that they’ve been given a celebrity name: Brooksyn. They are also responsible for hundreds of different memes circulating around the Internet, including one where DeChambeau appears to be kissing his combatant.

All this hype and attention may have roots in a real dislike for each other, but the rumours also suggest it may be driven by a mutual love for something else: money. The PGA Tour recently announced a bonus pool of $40 million to be shared among players who drive attention through, among other things, social media. Could the two be in on a secret plan to work together to get a big share of that pie known as the Player Impact Fund?

There are also suggestions that the United States Golf Association may play into the dispute by pairing the two golfers for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open. That would certainly draw attention, especially from a much-desired younger demographic, with the only remaining question being who would serve as the referee and third member of the group.

Another hypothetical would be to pair the two players together in a match when the American Ryder Cup team takes on its European counterparts this fall. 

The skirmish may feature more personal attacks and rougher language than Jack and Arnie offered up back in the day but it is doing something similar – it’s drawing attention to a sport that can always use it. While Mickelson’s win at the PGA drew massive audiences, it would likely be nothing compared to a DeChambeau-Koepka playoff for a major. Or any event for that matter. Possibly even a wrestling match. 

It may not be golf at its finest but it seems for the moment, most fans would rather watch these two trade shots off the course than on it.