LAS VEGAS — The tournament was as much a stand-up comedy show as a golf tournament. And it was all perfect.
LAS VEGAS — Although they were never going to be right in the middle of the action Saturday at the Bridgestone Invitational, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau didn’t mind cutting their first red carpet stop in Sin City short after just 45 minutes.
“Now that’s an abbreviated opening,” said DeChambeau, who was in town for work but instead took a break after logging 37 holes in the previous two days. “I feel like I need to go home. I need to reset.”
“It’s a hell of a moment. I’ve never been here before,” said Koepka, who was there for the birth of Koepka’s son, Koook, but didn’t get back to his hotel until 8:15 a.m.
“I’m leaving. I think it’s a good time,” Koepka said. “This is a great tournament. But I’m looking forward to it.”
DeChambeau was — as he tends to be — a bit more animated, saying that his recent struggles have made it a bit of a mental grind playing the week before a major (he missed the cut at the U.S. Open, a couple weeks before he added the PGA Championship to his otherwise mind-blowing resume).
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind the last couple of weeks,” DeChambeau said. “It’s been very challenging.”
Perhaps it was part of the overcast, cool — and chilly — morning in Vegas that the two were anxious to hit the deck, but they made good on their rah-rah tweets with a nice gesture before the first tee shot.
“Brooks can get my nails done for free if he brings a golf club to me.”
Right off the bat, DeChambeau sat down and began to get his nails done. Koepka did a little work, too, and then dropped off his club to a concierge for delivery to the nail salons on the Strip.
The two pitchers appeared to feed off each other’s energy. Like when DeChambeau was surrounded by cameras taking shots of Koepka taking a duck-walk up to the green and moving his right arm from the center-top of his wedge to the lowest point of his body, a nod to his signature swing, which moves forward the furthest when he pumps his right leg.
“We’re aggressive,” Koepka said of himself and DeChambeau. “If we were 7-footers (in long-drive competitions), they’d say, ‘OK, we’re over-driving.’ But if we can make birdies on the hill where the roof line goes, it makes it all that much better.”
DeChambeau could recall picking up the final drive of the day from a competition at University of Illinois last month that was headed toward a fairway bunker.
“So when we look at this, it’s ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to make a birdie in the sand bunker?’” DeChambeau said. “Because you’re not going to go three-putting it on 18 or anything, I can tell you that. You’re never going to three-putt it.”
At the height of their success on Saturday, they and the rest of the field had to put on the gloves for weather-inspired issues.
On the driving range during two-tourney weather delays, what this foursome? Odd thing: The caddies weren’t out carrying the bags. Koepka, DeChambeau, Zach Johnson and Jason Day took turns each time to put on their gloves and brace for the weather to keep falling.
And this event, while anticipated to be the best, unfolded as if it were the worst.