Golf: Brooks Koepka-Bryson DeChambeau feud sparks spectator jeers, evictions at Memorial

Even though he isn't contesting the PGA Memorial tournament, Brooks Koepka is there in spirit, living rent-free inside the head of archrival Bryson DeChambeau.

The feud between two of golf's biggest stars went viral last month, when they exchanged jibes during a Golf Channel interview at the PGA Championship.

Since then, golf fans have picked up this prickly relationship and run with it, culminating in tense scenes at this week's event in Dublin, Ohio, with security called in to evict unruly spectators.

Even though Koepka has chosen to skip this tournament, supporters have followed DeChambeau around the course, cheering "Let's go Brooksy".

And while the big-hitting American insists he isn't distracted by the taunts, he clearly is. 

"Oh, they weren't taunts at all," he said afterwards. "It was flattering.

"They can keep calling me that all day long - I have no issue with it. I grew up learning how to deal with that stuff."

At least two groups of spectators were removed from the venue on Friday, when DeChambeau, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay completed their rain-delayed opening rounds and then their second rounds - 33 holes altogether.

Afterwards, Koepka tweeted a video, thanking his fans and offering product from his beer sponsor to the first 50 hecklers whose attendance was "cut short".

"What's up guys, it's Brooksy," he said. "Thank you guys for the support.

"I heard a bunch of you were shouting my name at the golf tournament today. I know I'm not playing, but thank you guys for showing support."

One bystander enjoying the beef was Irishman Rory McIlroy, playing in the group behind DeChambeau.

"I sent Brooks a message when it all came out," he said. "I said, 'I don't care what happens to me for the rest of this week, this has made my week, this is the best thing ever'.

"I think it's good for guys to show personality and I'm pretty sure whoever leaked it from the Golf Channel got in trouble."

Of course, the whole thing could just be a hoax.

Last month, the PGA offered a US$40m (NZ$55.4m) kitty to be split among the 10 golfers that "positively move the needle" on social media, with the "most valuable" receiving US$8m (NZ$11.1m).

Both Koepka (456.6k Twitter followers) and DeChambeau (242.8k) have ground to make up on the likes of Tiger Woods (6.5m), McIlroy (3.1m), Jordan Spieth (2m), Justin Rose (916.4k), Dustin Johnson (855.2k) and Phil Mickeson (726.3k).