As play was concluding at the Memorial, a grinning Koepka playfully threw another barb in DeChambeau’s direction. After thanking fans for shouting his name Friday, he posted a video on Instagram and Twitter offering a case of beer to the first 50 people whose time at the tournament, as he said, “might have been cut short.”
The clamor around DeChambeau may have had no effect on his golf, but after shooting a one-under 71 in the first round, which included 15 holes played Friday morning, DeChambeau stumbled badly at the start of the second round Friday afternoon. With three putts from 28 feet, he double bogeyed the first hole, then took four shots to reach the par-4 third green, which led to a bogey. DeChambeau responded with an eagle and four birdies but also had three more bogeys for an inconsistent round of 72.
“A long day, long two days almost,” DeChambeau said. “Unfortunately, I got it going the wrong way out there for a while.”
Spieth’s experience was the inverse. After six bogeys in the final 13 holes of his first round, he spent most of a 40-minute layoff before the start of the second round eating lunch. (DeChambeau, by contrast, spent nearly the entire time hitting balls, mostly with a driver, on the practice range.)
Spieth began his second round with four steadying pars, then made five birdies without a bogey the rest of his afternoon.
“The biggest difference was I stopped hitting my tee shots in the rough,” Spieth said. “Pretty simple.”
In the end, not surprisingly, Spieth looked across the day and felt buoyed, even by the crowd reaction. He mentioned some “outliers,” but said: “We had massive support, people trekked 33 holes with us today, and that’s pretty awesome considering the wet conditions.”
Recalling his many wayward shots during the first round, Spieth laughed and said: “I mean, I know how I feel walking through the rough today.”