Davis Love III knows his role as vice captain under U.S. Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker means his role could include serving as referee in the ongoing feud between big-hitting American antagonists Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau during the upcoming matches at Whistling Straits in Haven.
However, Love doesn't believe he will need to do so.
"For us that's about No. 20 on the list of things to do," Love said Thursday on the eve of the Ally Challenge, this week's PGA Tour Champions event at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc, Mich. "Captain's talked to both Bryson and Brooks and everybody else that's in the top 15 probably on the points list, so that one's not (an issue). We've got way bigger problems than that coming into this thing obviously with COVID and he's got to make six picks.
"Those guys have their spot. We've had a lot bigger issues in the past with guys than this one. ... Both Brooks and Bryson want to win, they're competitive. The reason there's a little bit of a feud is because they're competitive just like Phil and Tiger, just like Arnie and Jack. Two big boys in the same room."
Love's comments came one day after Sports Illustrated reported that, as it relates to getting along on Team USA at Whistling Straits, the ongoing animosity between Koepka and DeChambeau has been "put to bed" in Stricker's mind following separate conversations last week with both golfers.
“They assured me that the team and the country and everything else that goes into this is their (top priority),” Stricker told SI in an interview Monday evening. "They said it’s not going to be an issue, and I believe them. I trust them. As far as I’m concerned, it’s been put to bed.”
Most of their war of words has been waged over social media. However, DeChambeau added fuel to the fire at the PGA Championship in May when the noise from his metal spikes broke Koepka's train of thought during a Golf Channel interview, prompting Koepka to pause, roll his eyes and utter an expletive.
Many trace their feud to 2019 comments Koepka made about DeChambeau’s slow pace of play. That touched off the ongoing social media banter that included DeChambeau saying on a 2020 Twitch stream that he was unimpressed with Koepka’s physique in his ESPN Body Issue photos, to which Koepka posted a photo of his four major championship trophies and reminded DeChambeau that one of them was "2 short of a 6-pack."
While Stricker reiterated comments he made to Wisconsin.Golf earlier this summer that he likely won't pair the two bombers off the tee (DeChambeau leads the PGA Tour at 321.7 yards per drive while Koepka is No. 13 at 310.1), Love III acknowledged that there is a limit to the social distancing that can occur between the two outspoken rivals.
"We have a small sandbox to play in when we get to the Ryder Cup," Love said. "Everybody's on the same bus and those guys are both pros and they're both willing to do whatever the captain asks them. I've been very impressed with Brooks, the teams that I've been around (with) him on. They're good teammates. Common goal, we all want to win."