Bryson DeChambeau on Wednesday downplayed any rift with Brooks Koepka.
Speaking to reporters in advance of his title defense at the Dubai Desert Classic, DeChambeau said that he has “nothing but respect” for the world No. 1 and that he’s moved on from some of their social-media jousting.
“Personally to me, I’m way past that and not even looking at that,” DeChambeau told reporters, according to the Scotsman. “It’s all good fun. I’ve seen him, actually, the past few days where I’m staying, and everything’s fine. You know, it’s not a big deal.”
On a Twitch stream last week, DeChambeau took a shot at Koepka’s physique, saying that the ESPN Body Issue model didn’t have six-pack abs. “I have some abs,” said DeChambeau, who in recent months has added about 20 pounds in an attempt to gain distance.
A day later, Koepka responded with a picture of his four major championship trophies, woofing: “You were right @b_dechambeau I am 2 short of a 6 pack!”
Asked if he laughed at Koepka’s retort, DeChambeau told reporters Wednesday: “Absolutely. Like I said, what I typed in there, there’s a reason why he’s No. 1. So I’ve got nothing but respect for him, and he knows that. I think everybody should know that. For me, I’m just trying to do my best each and every day, just as he is.”
Koepka is not playing in Dubai this week, but he appears to be spending the week there practicing and taking in the sights. He’s teeing it up again next week in Saudi Arabia, following a tie for 34th in his 2020 debut in Abu Dhabi.
DeChambeau had an early exit last week in his season opener, firing a second-round 77 to miss the cut. He returns this week to Dubai, where a year ago he shot 24 under par and won by seven shots. (The course setup is tougher this year, with longer and thicker rough.) It’s his last worldwide victory, as he’s dropped from fifth to 17th in the world rankings.
DeChambeau took a big-picture approach when looking at the year, saying that he’s putting a greater emphasis on the majors. Unlike Koepka, whose seven wins over the past four years includes four majors, DeChambeau has yet to finish better than 15th in a major.
“All of my mind is taken up with the need to do well in the majors,” he said. “That’s what I haven’t done particularly well in my career so far, and I am keen on changing that.”