KOHLER, Wis. (Reuters) – Feuding Ryder Cup team mates Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau put their differences aside and focused their attention on beating Europe on Friday contributing points that helped power the United States into a dominating 6-2 lead.
The two men barely crossed paths on Friday but when the dust settled both showed up on the Whistling Straits scoresheet.
Koepka was out early in the morning foursomes with Daniel Berger securing a full point with a 2&1 win over Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick.
DeChambeau did not appear on the scene until the afternoon for the fourball session partnering with Scottie Scheffler to battle Spanish world number one Jon Rahm and Briton Tyrrell Hatton to a draw, adding a half-point to the U.S. cause.
After going 0-3-0 at the 2018 Ryder Cup in Paris the half-point was the first for DeChambeau while Scheffler earned a half-point in what was his competition debut.
“I’m glad I got something for the team,” said DeChambeau. “Frustrating, but we fought hard.
“We had a lot more opportunities to do things, and just didn’t take advantage of those.”
Arriving at Whistling Straits for the biennial showdown, Koepka and DeChambeau were tagged as the hand grenade ready to be tossed into the U.S. team room, their squabble threatening to spill over and blow up American chances.
Both men made faint gestures towards mending fences but in the end, being U.S. team mates seemed to be the only common ground.
“Do what you’re supposed to do, go out and win our match, and that’s all we can do and did that,” said Koepka.
There are 24 of the world’s best golfers competing at Ryder Cup and DeChambeau is the one nearly all of the 40,000 spectators want to see.
DeChambeau, golf’s version of a homerun king, is the big-hitter who does ridiculous things smashing golf balls.
He also comes with a prickly, quirky persona that has made him golf’s most polarizing and intriguing figures.
He emerged out of the tunnel onto the first tee to a thundering ovation and then gave the packed grandstand what they had come to see.
Marching up to his ball, DeChambeau snarled, gritted his teeth then launched his tee shot into orbit and when it re-entered the atmosphere came down where it often does: deep in the rough.
At the second he missed the fairway again.
Then there are holes like the 603-yard par five fifth, a dog leg right guarded by bunkers and water on both sides.
It is a three-shot hole even for some of golf’s best but DeChambeau has a different approach hitting 417-yard drive that left him a short wedge into the green and 10-foot putt for eagle.
“I knew if it was a little downwind, I could take a unique line, and I luckily was able to have that wind today,” said DeChambeau. “I said to myself, all right, I have to aim at the green, so I did.
“I just aimed at the green and bombs away.”
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Kohler, Wis. Editing by Sam Holmes)