The biggest emerging name — and biggest frame — of the PGA Tour isn’t going south to Ohio this week, but many of golf’s top names will be in action.
The tour goes from Detroit to the Workday Charity Open in Dublin, OH, but the Bryson DeChambeau train is not going yet.
Still, fans in central Ohio will take a four-time major championship winner over the last four years as a consolation prize.
After two weeks off, Brooks Koepka returns to action Thursday for the third time since the COVID-19 shutdown. He is looking to build off his best finish of the season.
Koepka took seventh at the RBC Heritage last month in Hilton Head, SC, and appears to be building momentum — and a rivalry.
It’s the first of two straight PGA events at Muirfield Village Golf Club, an oddity that hasn’t happened on tour since 1976.
DeChambeau dominates in Detroit, gaining steam
DeChambeau is the sport’s big story right now, with media and fans fascinated about his protein shakes, potatoes and steaks, and weight training that has packed on 40 pounds of muscle.
His game has caught the attention of Koepka, the tour’s previous peak physical player, who appeared in ESPN’s Body Issue last year.
Maybe no abs for Koepka, but trophies
DeChambeau did some body-shaming of Koepka after the photo shoot, noting his lack of abs.
“I don’t know if his genetics even make him look good, to be honest,” DeChambeau said during a Fortnite Twitch stream. “In the ‘Body Issue,’ [Koepka] didn’t have any abs. I can tell you that.”
Koepka clapped back with a response, enlisting the help of his major trophies.
“You were right @b_dechambeau,” Koepka tweeted with a photo of his pairs of US Open and PGA Championship hardware. “I am 2 short of a 6 pack!”
Koepka tweets GIF, what does it mean?
After DeChambeau’s showing in Detroit, Koepka tweeted a GIF on Tuesday of Kenny Powers from HBO’s Eastbound & Down.
The GIF can be translated in multiple ways, along with some plausible deniability outs on all sides.
The GIF shows Powers attacking a cameraman, along with a fake news chyron stating: “Kenny Powers confronts steroid allegations.”
The ‘S’ word is a loaded one while DeChambeau is in the news touting his training and nutrition regimen.
It also could’ve simply been a reference to DeChambeau’s strange blow-up at a cameraman Saturday in Detroit after a bad hole.
Maybe the GIF refers to both things. Or neither.
Either way, golf could have a new spicy rivalry.
Justin Thomas favored in Ohio this weekend
Despite Koepka’s presence, the favorite to win this weekend in Ohio is Justin Thomas.
Koepka is fourth at all three books, with Patrick Cantlay and Jon Rahm also among the favored entrants.
The field is wider open than last week, when DeChambeau was favored with about 6-1 odds heading into Detroit.
Looking ahead to next week, both DeChambeau and Koepka are scheduled to compete in the Memorial Tournament, also at Muirfield Village.
Let’s hope for a Sunday showdown.