The four-time major winner responded to claims that DeChambeau "declined" to play with him at the US Open

TAGS:

Brooks Koepka: “I don’t care who I’m paired with”

Ahead of his bid to win the US Open for the third time in five years, Brooks Koepka was once again quizzed on his bizarre feud with defending champion Bryson DeChambeau. 

It was always going to be one of the hot topics of discussion, especially after it was reported by Brad Faxon that DeChambeau had turned down the opportunity to play alongside his ‘rival’ for the first two rounds at Torrey Pines. 

Related: US Open golf betting tips 2021

Speaking to Michael Breed, Faxon, an eight-time PGA Tour winner turned analyst, revealed there were rumours that the USGA had asked the DeChambeau camp if they’d be interested.

The clip, which was posted to the SiriusXM US Open Radio Twitter page, can be heard below: 

With Koepka in the hot seat, it didn’t take long to get his thoughts on the matter, and as always, the four-time major winner responded in no uncertain terms. 

“I was not asked about playing with Gary Woodland nor Bryson,” the 31-year-old said. “It doesn’t matter to me. I’m trying to play — I play my own game. I don’t care who I’m paired with. 

“It doesn’t matter to me what goes on. It makes no difference. I’m out there trying to play my own game. What happens inside the ropes, it won’t bother me.”

Koepka also addressed the clip that was released in the days following the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, in which he can’t hide his displeasure at the sight and sound of Bryson interrupting his interview.

He said: “I’m not too concerned. It is what it is. Like I said last week, I don’t think — I don’t live with regret. It got out, not a big deal. 

“And as far as perception, I’m not really too concerned — I’m worried about what I’ve got to do and what I’m doing. I’m not concerned about what other people think. If I was concerned about what everybody else thought, I’d have been in a world of pain.”

Despite the rumours, the USGA stuck with tradition, putting DeChambeau in a group with the US Amateur champion, Tyler Strafaci, and this year’s Masters winner, Hideki Matsuyama

They get underway at 1.14pm local time (9.14pm BST), while Koepka, who tees off at 7.29am local time (3.29pm BST) in a star-studded threeball with Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas, is on the other side of the draw. 

Related: US Open tee times 2021 – rounds one and two

So fans will have to wait, at least until one of the final two rounds this week, to see if fireworks will fly when they next lock horns, and Koepka once again reiterated his position that all the talk surrounding the pair is “growing the game.”

“I think it’s good for the game. It’s bringing new eyeballs,” he added. “Like I said last week, you’ve got different — it’s pretty much been on every news channel. Pretty much everything you look at online, it’s got this in the headline, or it’s up there as a big news story. 

“To me, that’s growing the game. You’re putting it in front of eyeballs, you’re putting it in front of people, the game of golf, who probably don’t normally look at golf, don’t play it, might get them involved. I don’t know how it’s not growing the game.”