Though the swarm of fans on the final hole at Sunday’s PGA Championship provided a moment hardly ever seen within the sport, not everybody within the closing group at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island was pleased with it.
On Monday evening, PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh apologized to Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson and their caddies for the incidents — which Koepka stated left him feeling attacked.
“While we welcome fan engagement, we regret that a moment of high elation and pent-up emotion by spectators on the 18th hole during the conclusion of yesterday’s historic PGA Championship briefly overwhelmed security and made two players and their caddies feel vulnerable,” Waugh stated in a press release on Monday evening. “We always put player safety at the top of our list and are grateful that order was restored.
“I have spoken to both players and apologized on behalf of the Association.”
Mickelson swarmed by followers throughout historic win
Mickelson, 50, became the oldest man to win a major championship when he claimed the PGA Championship by two photographs on Sunday in South Carolina. The victory marked the forty fifth PGA Tour win for Mickelson, which ties him for the eighth-most all time, and his sixth main win.
The scene on the final hole was wild. Just like they did for Tiger Woods’ win at East Lake when he received the Tour Championship, Mickelson disappeared right into a mob of followers for his closing stroll as much as the inexperienced.
Brooks Koepka felt attacked
While the scene was unbelievable to look at, Mickelson’s taking part in associate wasn’t completely happy about it.
Koepka slammed the fans after his round — he completed 2-over on the day and completed in a tie for second with Louis Oosthuizen — and stated he didn’t really feel secure, particularly contemplating he underwent knee surgical procedure in March.
“It would have been cool if I didn’t have a knee injury and got dinged a few times in the knee in that crowd because no one really gave a s***, personally,” Koepka said. “But if I was fine, yeah it would’ve been cool.
“Yeah, it’s cool for Phil. But getting dinged a few times isn’t exactly my idea of fun.”
Koepka said he was simply trying to protect himself in the course of the stroll up, and that his caddie, Rickie, didn’t really feel secure both. He stopped simply quick of accusing followers of deliberately attempting to hit him within the commotion.
“I don’t know, it got bumped a few times,” he said. “Somebody jammed Rickie, Rickie stopped unintentionally because he got drilled in the face, and then I got drilled in the bag because he got stopped so quickly. But I don’t know what someone tried to or what, I don’t know what the deal was. There were so many people around.”
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