Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau will finally get their match, even if it’s only 12 holes.
After bumping heads in a dispute largely driven on social media for the better part of two years, Koepka and DeChambeau will face each other in the final edition of “Capital One’s The Match” the day after Thanksgiving at Wynn Golf Course. on the Las Vegas Strip.
The November 26 exhibit will be shown on TNT and will give everyone plenty of time to experience their back and forth that started at Liberty National in August 2019 and seemed to cool down as they teamed up with the winning US team at the Ryder Cup.
DeChambeau hinted at “something cool coming here” during his Ryder Cup press conference. Koepka was asked about it at his press conference two days later, saying: “I have no idea. I didn’t listen to the comment or hear what he said.”
Both have open mics during the 12-hole game.
Koepka and DeChambeau have only been paired up on the PGA Tour four times, most recently in 2019 for the first two rounds of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill. The other occasions were the third round of the 2018 Tour Championship and the final round of the 2016 Masters, when DeChambeau was an amateur.
DeChambeau will make his second appearance in the made-for-TV bonanza, having teamed up with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers to defeat Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady last summer. Koepka plays in it for the first time.
DeChambeau was in Las Vegas last week, reaching the quarterfinals of the Long Drivers Association Championship, a remarkable feat when you consider that he faced the best in the world by swinging as hard and launching as far as possible. He had a number of rides of 400 meters or more.
The exhibit, which began with Mickelson’s beating Tiger Woods in 2018 at Shadow Creek, has raised nearly $30 million for various charities and generated some 10 million meal donations.
NEXT IN RYDER CUP?
Sam Burns won on the PGA Tour for the second time this year, just 13 days after Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker broke the news that Burns would not be part of the US team.
Burns cannot start earning points for the 2023 team until next year.
And if history is any indication, the US team will have a lot of newcomers. The Americans steamed Europe for the biggest margin of victory – 19-9 – since the dawn of the modern era in 1979 by expanding Britain and Ireland into continental Europe.
The US team that won by a margin of 17-11 in Hazeltine only had six players coming back to the team that went to France in 2018. That’s not unusual. Dating back to 1981, there have been only six Ryder Cups where more than six Americans have returned to the next team.
One question is, who wouldn’t be the six in Whistling Straits?
In addition to Burns, among those who missed were Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson and the collapsing Rickie Fowler. Matthew Wolff thought he was on the 2021 team when he finished fourth and second in consecutive majors in 2020, but he went into a tailspin with his play and emotions. As for newcomers? Remember Collin Morikawa was still in college when the previous Ryder Cup was played.
Perhaps the better question is, who won’t make it?
The 1999 and 2012 teams had eight returning players. The two constants were Phil Mickelson, who set a record by playing in 12 consecutive teams, and Jim Furyk, who played nine times in a row.
For now, it’s hard to imagine an American team without Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, and Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau for years to come.
On the other hand, Spieth would have been left out of the team if not for the one-year delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Two great champions start the new season with different caddies.
Ted Scott had been with two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson his entire career and they’ve decided to part ways. Watson said Scott “deserves more credit than anyone can imagine” for helping him on and off the golf course.
Jimmy Johnson is no longer with Justin Thomas, the 2017 PGA champion and FedEx Cup champion. No reason was given for their split, other than Thomas saying he didn’t fire Johnson. Thomas said Jim “Bones” Mackay, Phil Mickelson’s former caddy, will work for him. Johnson was the second full-time caddy Thomas had as a pro.
MONEY FOR NOTHING
The steady increase in prize money plays a role with Cameron Tringale extending his lead as the player with the most PGA Tour earnings without winning.
His most recent opportunity was the Sanderson Farms Championship, where Tringale started the final round one behind and finished with a 71 to tie for 11th place. That was worth $162,750, taking his career earnings to $14,487,568.
That’s just over $1 million better than England’s Brian Davis, who played his last full season in 2019. The difference is that Davis has played 372 events, compared to 311 for Tringale.
Of the nine players with $10 million or more without winning (who primarily play the PGA Tour), Brett Quigley had the most starts at 408.
Tringale makes its 312th start this week in Las Vegas. He says the joy comes more from the competition than from the money.
‘I’ve been here a long time. I didn’t win but I like competition and I just want to see if I can keep beating the guys,” he said before the final round. “On Sunday they give away the trophies but you’re really grinding and you’re playing against yourself But it’s just nice to see how I can match if I play well and even if I don’t, how I can manage that and get the most out of each week.
“That’s kind of the fun part for me,” he said. “I’m kind of a journeyman so far and I’m enjoying the journey.”
RYDER CUP REUNION
Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington compete again, this time with golf clubs.
Harrington turned 50 on August 31, three weeks before the Ryder Cup. He will make his debut for the PGA Tour Champions this week at the Constellation Furyk & Friends Invitational at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville, Florida. Stricker is also in the field.
While the PGA Tour Champions often pride themselves on the number of former great champions in their field, this feels like a reunion of past Ryder Cup captains. Harrington and Stricker are among the 10 former captains of Timuquana.
European captains include Bernhard Langer (2004), Colin Montgomerie (2010), Jose Maria Olazabal (2012), Darren Clarke (2016) and Harrington (2021).
U.S. captains include Tom Lehman (2006), Corey Pavin (2010), Davis Love III (2012 and 2016), tournament host Jim Furyk (2018), and Stricker (2021).
The Asian Tour will resume in November, as he has not played since March 2020 due to the pandemic. The tour has two tournaments scheduled for Thailand and two more in Singapore after the Christmas break. … With seven tournaments to go in the year, Dustin Johnson and Scottie Scheffler are the only US Ryder Cup members yet to qualify for the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Kapalua. …Patrick Reed returns to competition this week at the Shiners Children’s Open in Las Vegas, his first event since not being selected for the Ryder Cup team. … The European Tour once again closes the season with back-to-back tournaments in Dubai. The AVIV Dubai Championship on November 11-14 will precede the DP World Tour Championship that concludes the Race to Dubai. A year ago, the second Dubai tournament was part of the tour’s plan to remain two events in areas as part of the strict bubble. This year’s Dubai Championship takes its place on the schedule vacated by the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Tiger Woods won his first PGA Tour title in Las Vegas 25 years ago, making $297,000. This week in Las Vegas, fifth place pays $287,000.
“No one turns into a genius who drinks.” — Shane Lowry on unruly fans at the Ryder Cup.