The PGA Tour couldn’t have asked for a better end to the BMW Championship. Bryson DeChambeau and Patrick Cantlay ended Sunday’s final round tied atop the leaderboard and took their battle to a thrilling six-hole playoff. Cantlay locked up the victory after DeChambeau missed a birdie putt that would have extended the playoff, but both golfers earned praise from the fans in attendance.
However, those incredible performances were overshadowed by an ugly incident that took place as DeChambeau was leaving the Caves Valley course.
MORE: Why DeChambeau called out Cantlay
ESPN’s Kevin Van Valkenburg described what happened when one spectator made a reference to DeChambeau’s rival, Brooks Koepka:
Halfway up the hill, something happened that made me feel like we’ve arrived at a miserable place in the never-ending circus that is DeChambeau. A patron waited until DeChambeau had walked by, but was not out of earshot, then sneered from over the rope line “Great job Brooksie!” DeChambeau spun around in a rage and began briefly walking in his direction.
“You know what? Get the f— out!” DeChambeau yelled. He had rage in his eyes.
I’m being dead serious when I say it could have gotten ugly really fast. Maybe not “Malice At The Palace” bad, but in that moment, nothing would’ve surprised me. A rope line is little more than a polite suggestion when it comes to security a golf tournament. DeChambeau had been hearing, and ignoring, that kind of taunt all week. But everyone has their breaking point.
That final taunt certainly seemed to be the breaking point for PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who told reporters during his Tuesday media availability that yelling “Brooksie” will now be considered a breach of the code of conduct and could result in expulsion from future tournaments.
“The barometer that we are all using is the word respect,” Monahan said. “And to me, when you hear ‘Brooksie’ yelled or you hear any expression yelled, the question is, is that respectful or disrespectful? That has been going on for an extended period of time. To me, at this point, it’s disrespectful. And that’s the kind of behavior that we’re not gonna tolerate going forward.”
The DeChambeau vs. Koepka feud goes back to January 2019, and though it seemed like a friendly rivalry at first, it has since become more intense, leading to increasingly frequent “Brooksie” comments throughout DeChambeau’s rounds. While Monahan noted that he had conversations with both golfers about their sitation, he also emphasized that there has been a “general concern around code of conduct at our tournaments.”
“I’ve been out at a lot of our tournaments this year, particularly since our return to play, and this issue isn’t specific to one or two players,” Monahan said. “I think it’s an opportunity to reasses overall civility at our tournaments and fan behavior and reset the expectation through our fan code of conduct. That’s something that we have identified. It’s something that I’ve talked to not only those two players, but a lot of our players about.
“It’s something I’ve talked to our partners in the industry about, and we’ve all agreed that we’ve got to come together and demonstrate what is truly exceptional about our game.”
The first test of the new policy will come this weekend at the Tour Championship. DeChambeau enters the tournament at No. 3 in the FedExCup standings behind Cantlay and Tony Finau.