DeChambeau and Koepka keep distance on US Open tee sheet

Bryson DeChambeau watches his tee shot on the 14th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open Golf Championship Monday, June 14, 2021, at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Anyone clamoring for Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka to play in the same group to start the U.S. Open will have to wait for another tournament.

DeChambeau, the defending U.S. Open champion, will play the opening two rounds at Torrey Pines with Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and U.S. Amateur champion Tyler Strafaci.

That’s keeping with USGA tradition of putting the defending champion with the current U.S. Amateur champion and a reigning major champion. The U.S. Amateur champion previously had to remain amateur to be exempt to the U.S. Open.

Koepka is playing with fellow former PGA champions Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas.

DeChambeau and Koepka have been engaged in a social media spat that began nearly two years ago and picked up steam with a leaked Golf Channel clip that was never aired. Koepka stops his interview at the PGA Championship and rolls his eyes when he sees DeChambeau walking behind him and then uses salty language to express his feelings.

More exchanges and posts followed in recent weeks.

Not only are they not playing together, they are on opposite sides of the draw. Koepka starts Thursday at 7:29 a.m. PDT on the 10th hole. DeChambeau tees off at 1:14 p.m. PDT on the first hole of the South course at Torrey Pines.

They could still play together this week if they’re on the same score on the weekend.

PGA champion Phil Mickelson, playing in his hometown in the only major he has never won, will be playing with fellow San Diego native Xander Schauffele and Max Homa.

The USGA put together former winners of the Farmers Insurance Open played at Torrey Pines in January — Patrick Reed, Marc Leishman and Jon Rahm.

There’s also an all-Dallas group of former U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth, Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris.

The last time the U.S. Open was at Torrey Pines, in 2008, the USGA for the first time put together the top three players in the world ranking — Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott. That has lost some appeal with World Golf Championships following suit over the years and featured pairings for streaming often putting together marquee players on the PGA Tour.

Dustin Johnson, the No. 1 player in the world, is playing with Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose. All three are former U.S. Open champions.

And in a nod to the British Open, former champions Henrik Stenson, Francesco Molinari and Shane Lowry are in the same group.

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