Why the Brooks-Bryson pairing is not happening at U.S. Open 2021?

The 121st U.S. Open is set to begin at Torrey Pines on June 17. The third major of the year has got everyone excited, and the USGA tried to make it even better. They wanted to pair Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau together, but the latter declined! Feels like we’ve been deprived of some major action. 

Former Tour player Brad Faxon said on SiriusXM radio that the USGA called DeChambeau and his agent, Brett Falkoff, “to ask if they would be OK with that, and Bryson declined.”

That was news to DeChambeau, who responded: “I would be OK with that (pairing), but there was never really anything that went through me.”

But what about through his manager? Well, Falkoff on Tuesday told GolfChannel.com that Faxon’s comment was “totally false.”

“No one from the USGA ever reached out to Brooks and Bryson,” he said. “It’s the USGA. It’s their choice. I don’t know why this pairing was such a surprise to anybody.”

And so there’s nothing left now other than to have a weekend faceoff, and not when they’re tied for 37th. Putting them together in the first two rounds at Torrey Pines would have been a fun early story, a round that would have been dissected in forensic detail, and it would have drawn in a non-golf audience that tuned in waiting for a brawl only to be disappointed by what surely would unfold: a handshake on the first tee, a quiet five hours, a handshake on 18.

Sundays are a different equation. Every shot, every decision and every misstep matters. It is where legacies are built, crumbled, complicated. A player battles not just the course but those near him on the board. This is where the fireworks happen, their brightness forever burned into our memories.

Brooks and Bryson are sitting on a mountain of explosives, but a Thursday and Friday pairing would have transformed that pile into Roman candles and sparklers.

The odds of this happening organically this weekend are slim. But this is a major championship, one of those special tournaments where the ridiculous is routine. The letdown is real right now, but who knows what the Pacific fog will ultimately bring. For posterity, there was a hint, or more appropriately, a sign, of what that could be.