Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird. Mark McGwire vs. Sammy Sosa. Chris Evert vs. Martina Navratilova. Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier. Brooks Koepka vs. Bryson DeChambeau?
All right, maybe the last duo hasn't quite reached the threshold of the aforementioned epic sports rivalries, seeing as how Koepka and DeChambeau have yet to face off in a final pairing.
But if that day should ever come, the ongoing feud between the golf stars promises to make the green resemble a middle-school classroom in which you regrettably found yourself in an assigned seat next to the person who started a rumor that you ate paste in elementary school.
On Monday night, a leaked video of a postround Golf Channel interview from the PGA Championship showed Koepka rolling his eyes and cursing as DeChambeau walks behind him in the shot, a move that left Koepka visibly annoyed, frustrated and distracted. We're talking super heated.
The drama didn't stop there. On Wednesday, it was announced that Phil Mickelson, who won his sixth major title Sunday to became the oldest major champion at age 50, will be teaming up with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady to take on DeChambeau and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for another iteration of Capital One's The Match charity golf tournament.
With no disrespect to the legend that is Lefty, we all know it should have been Brooks battling it out alongside Brady. Give the people what they want.
But back to the feud. You would have thought the video might have prompted Koepka to apologize for his visceral reaction to DeChambeau or put out a carefully curated statement letting us all know not to worry because they had made amends. Think again.
If anything, the unearthing of the video seemed to encourage the golfers to lean all the way into their mutual disdain no holds barred, as Koepka seized the opportunity to tweet his sympathies to Rodgers for having to be paired with his nemesis. To which DeChambeau clapped back, "It's nice to be living rent free in your head!"
While this week's developments have served to discredit anyone who believed rumors of a feud between the two were overhyped, it has also presented the perfect opportunity to revisit exactly how we got to this point:
Ah, yes. The possibly pointed pace-of-play comments that started it all. Back in 2019, multiple PGA Tour players (including Koepka) criticized DeChambeau for his slow play. That led to DeChambeau telling Koepka's caddie to inform Brooks that he should confront him about the matter if he had something to say:
Was standing on the putting green with Koepka's caddie earlier when an irritated Bryson DeChambeau walked up & told him to tell his boss to make any comment about slow play "to my face". Brooks arrived soon after, got the message & ambled over for a chat with the scientist.— Eamon Lynch (@eamonlynch) August 11, 2019
Brooks would win in a fight
Shortly after, DeChambeau and Koepka joined Michael Collins on Out of Bounds to discuss the "Bryson takes too long to hit the ball" debacle. The Scientist conceded to being "slow on the greens" and fessed up to being put on the clock more than once while explaining how he finds himself in those situations.
Some Quick Hits on Slow Play! World No. 1 @BKoepka & @b_dechambeau join @ESPNCaddie & Pat Perez to sound off on a variety of topics surrounding slow play. Hear the full interview on Sirius XM OnDemand! pic.twitter.com/HQ96SrNnl2— SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio (@SiriusXMPGATOUR) August 14, 2019
In the same interview, Collins remarked, "People acted like the two of y'all were going to fight." To which DeChambeau replied, "Let's be honest, we know who would win that fight, and it's not me." Koepka echoed the sentiment with an approving: "You got that right."
DeChambeau concluded his comments about his game with, "I want to make it faster, no doubt. ... I would love it if I was done in two hours and 'See ya later.' I'd be playing Fortnite all day long."
The friendly banter would make it seem as if they had put aside their differences, yes? Not so fast.
Do you even lift, bro?
If I had to pinpoint it, I would say this is where things took a turn. After Koepka appeared in the Body Issue, DeChambeau was livestreaming while playing a video game and said of Brooks, "He doesn't have any abs, to be honest. I got some abs!"
Coming for his physique? Decidedly uncool.
Koepka was quick with the clapback though, swiftly shutting DeChambeau down from behind his keyboard with the help of some friends:
You were right @b_dechambeau I am 2 short of a 6 pack! pic.twitter.com/aCJ1jimId6— Brooks Koepka (@BKoepka) January 16, 2020
For reference, DeChambeau's dig came before he engaged in a swoll contest of sorts with Brooks.
Koepka calls on Kenny Powers
Which brings us to when the PGA Tour returned from its coronavirus shutdown. All of a sudden, DeChambeau looked yoked and was hitting his drives farther than any player had consistently in the tour's history.
Bryson can say he began protein shaking it up shortly after his war of words with Brooks for the sake of science, but I'm not willing to rule out that their burgeoning feud played a part.
Case in point, when the newly buff DeChambeau had a confrontation with a CBS camera operator during a 2020 tournament, Koepka appeared to subtweet him with this Kenny Powers GIF:
July 7, 2020
Insert thinking emoji here ...
Did somebody say ants?
At the 2020 St. Jude Classic, DeChambeau asked for a drop due to fire ants near his ball. Then Koepka seized the opportunity to clown him by claiming to have seen ants near his ball the next day. Pettiness -- it's good for the game.
The viral video
Now, if this loose timeline of shade-throwing somehow failed to convince you of the disdain between the duo, you need look no further than this video. You know what they say, an eye roll is worth a thousand words ... or something like that.
They've taken it to Twitter
Oh, you thought they were done? Nah. This feud is just getting good. After it was announced that DeChambeau would be teeing off alongside Aaron Rodgers in Capital One's The Match celebrity golf tournament against Phil Mickelson (again, big miss on their part) and Tom Brady, Koepka swiftly exercised his Twitter fingers to inform Rodgers he had drawn the short straw. Naturally, Bryson took a break from aggressively pumping iron on Instagram to reply:
@BKoepka It's nice to be living rent free in your head!— Bryson DeChambeau (@b_dechambeau) May 26, 2021
Suddenly the thought of anything other than a Koepka-DeChambeau U.S. Open pairing feels unbearable.