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“A Symphony of Malice:” The stereo-pure joy of two golfers who hate each other

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Over at the New York Times Magazine, I wrote about the hilariously norm-breaking rivalry between the muscular golfers Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, and its implications for the sports world moving forward. Check it out if this seems like the type of paper-of-record content you’d enjoy!

Given that golf news not involving Tiger Woods remains essentially a niche concern, it came as a surprise to see the extent to which Koepka’s interview penetrated mainstream culture. National media reported on the incident with delight, and the clip was viewed millions of times online. Memes cropped up like ragweed. The whole affair even eclipsed the actual victor that week: Phil Mickelson, who at 50 became the oldest player ever to win a major championship. That achievement was, we thought, just about the biggest non-Tiger story the sport could generate. But Koepka’s expression, it seemed, tapped into something universal; his sheer annoyance transcended the game.

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