By Steve Keating
Much of the buildup to the Ryder Cup had focused on the hostility between the two major winners and there were concerns in the U.S. camp that it would be a source of friction and become an unwanted distraction.
Despite efforts by U.S. captain Steve Stricker and others to bring the two together their relationship remain frosty until Sunday when team mate Justin Thomas called on the pair to hug it out during the final U.S. news conference.
“I think before this is all over we should have Brooks and Bryson hug in the middle of the room,” shouted Thomas. “To prove how much of a team we are, they are going to hug.
“Before you go, hold the trophy in the middle.”
DeChambeau, standing beside the gold trophy, waved at Koepka to join him and the pair came together to pat each other on the back in a brief hug.
While it was not the kind of full-on embrace their U.S. team mates had engaged in following the 19-9 shellacking of the Europeans Koepka and DeChambeau were all smiles for the cameras before heading off to continue the celebrations.
The pair had said before the competition that they would put their differences aside and focus on reclaiming the Ryder Cup and both made contributions to the cause, including singles wins on Sunday.
“Even Brooks and Bryson wanted to play together, that’s how much it came together,” said Stricker.
DeChambeau and Koepka had made faint gestures towards mending fences but in the end being U.S. team mates seemed to be the only common ground.
And in the end that was more than enough
“I felt like as a whole we came together and did something amazing,” said DeChambeau. “It’s about people coming together and doing something special for the game of golf.” (Reporting by Steve Keating in Kohler, Wisconsin; Editing by Peter Rutherford)