Patrick Reed made history at Royal Birkdale, but Koepka may have made it harder for him to do so. Reed had been in the lead at the key moment, but he didn’t make the putt. He turned to Koepka, who stood on the green and muttered a curse. The American was livid; he’d made a bogey. After all, the last time Koepka had faced this hole, he had found the green with his tee shot. This time, he didn’t even make the green.
Yep, you guessed it: this is Brooks Koepka flexing on Bryson DeChambeau by nearly driving the green on a 417-yard hole at the British Open. Koepka has been in the news a lot lately, due to the fact that is has become the first golfer to win three major titles in a row since Sam Snead in 1950.
When it comes to the four major golf tournaments on the PGA Tour, the Open Championship is like the Superbowl of golf. Everyone wants to come out on top—but for Brooks Koepka, the British Open has always been the most important of the four events. It’s the only title that matters, and it’s the only one he’s dreamed of winning more than any other.
The ugly feud between Brooks Koepka and Bryson Deschambault is now the talk of the town in the golf world. The two strikers have thrown oil on the fire in the run-up to this weekend’s British Open by recounting how their dispute began.
Koepka has been at an advantage in this duel lately thanks to his excellent performances in the major championships, while Deschambault’s only advantage has always been his great distance on his tee shots. But in the first round of the Open on Thursday, Koepka faced his worst enemy. He narrowly missed the green from 417 yards on the par-4 course.
Brooks Koepka hits a drive during the first round of game 149. Open at Royal St George’s Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
If you got up at your usual time on Thursday to go to work from 9 to 5, you probably missed all the headlands in the first round of the 2021 British Open. The world number eight started his championship at 3:03. ET, so most golf fans didn’t even notice his hectic start to the week.
Koepka started play at Royal St George slowly, making a bogey at the start of the second hole, but recovered with a birdie on the par-4 fifth hole. He finished the first nine in good style, making a birdie and going out with a score of 34.
Another birdie on the par-5 14th. The first hole put Koepka at 2-under and just two strokes away from first place. However, he ended the round disappointingly with a bogey on the 18th and finished the round with a score of 69.
Koepka was five strokes behind leader Louis Oosthuizen at the end of the morning round. But with three full rounds left to play, the long-distance American still has plenty of time to get back in the game.
Following the Open is always interesting because of the unpredictable weather. At the Open, you can experience all four seasons in one round, but one constant remains the same: The wind.
The high winds at Royal St George’s had largely died down on Thursday morning, but gusts were still reaching 15 mph. Usually a strong wind only hurts a player trying to make a stroke in this unpredictable air, but the English breeze only helped Koepka on his longest drive of the day.
On the par-4 10th hole, which measures 417 yards Thursday, Koepka hit a leeward stroke that crossed the fairway and nearly reached the front of the green. It was his longest shot of the day and not even Deschambault could match it when he was later on 10.
But alas, Köpka could not convert even this monster drive into a birdie.
When golf fans look at the PGA Tour standings today, the first two names to catch their attention are Koepka and DeChambeau. Since these two have not played doubles in tournaments lately, we will have to wait and see who performs better at the end of the weekend.
Koepka took over the start from his nemesis with a 1-under 69, while Deschambault played a 1-over 71.
If Deschambault misses the cut at the Open after Koepka surprisingly played him off the tees, he won’t hear about it.
COMPARED TO: Dustin Johnson returns to action at the British Open at Royal St Paul’s. George’s with thoughts of revenge and redemption
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