It’s bigger than Bryson DeChambeau, says Bryson DeChambeau.
In a sit-down interview with NBC Sports ahead of The Tour Championship, the golfer broke his silence on his Brooks Koepka rivalry and the fan taunting that has been following him because of the feud.
“I can take heat, I’ve taken heat my whole entire life,” said the 27-year-old DeChambeau, who, outside of brief on-course interviews with the network covering the events, has been ducking the media for weeks.
“It’s because I am a little different. I understand that and I appreciate that. Whether you are Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, there’s always going to be heat. I understand that and respect that.”
Instead, DeChambeau said his issue with fans screaming “Brooksie” at him comes down to the future of the sport and the impact fans can have on players as betting becomes legal and more mainstream around the country.
ESPN.com reported that DeChambeau erupted at a Koepka fan after losing the BMW Championship in a playoff on Sunday. The PGA Tour announced on Tuesday that any fan taunting DeChambeau with the “Brooksie” chant will be subject to expulsion.
“It’s another variable that I have to take account for, but guess what? I am going to do my best to treat people the way they want to be treated and absolutely give all my heart on the playing field,” DeChambeau said.
A majority of DeChambeau’s issues with fans stem from his Koepka feud, which started years ago but has escalated to new levels this season.
“I really don’t have an issue with him,” DeChambeau said of the popular Koepka. “The crowds are going to say what they are going to say because they have a right to do so. And it’s been going on for months now, everyone has their own tipping points. I’ve done a pretty good job of letting that fuel me in a positive way.”
The two will go from rivals to teammates at the Ryder Cup later this month. American captain Steve Stricker has said that the two have agreed to a temporary truce in the name of beating the Europeans at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
“Personally, I am 100-percent willing to do that. I think highly of him,” DeChambeau said. “He’s done a lot for the sport. He’s an interesting character who can be an amazing asset to the team. I can be an amazing asset to the team and if we all focus on being the best we can possibly be we will win.”