Brooks Koepka has blasted the wild scenes that unfolded the final hole of the US PGA as fans rushed the fairway for a better view of Phil Mickelson’s history-making victory.
Mickelson held off Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen to win the second men’s major of the year by two shots at Kiawah Island. In so doing, the now six-time major champion became the oldest player ever to win one of men’s golf’s four marquee events.
The victory sparked scenes of wild celebration amongst the fans on-site at the Ocean Course, many of whom thronged around Mickelson and Koepka in the middle of the fairway as they played their approach shots into the 72nd hole.
The scenes were condemned by many on social media, with CBS commentator Jim Nantz calling marshalls to task for failing to control the crowd.
Speaking to the media afterwards, Koepka could barely contain his anger.
“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 shit,” said the four-time major champ. “If I was fine, yeah, it would have been cool.
“It's cool for Phil. But getting dinged a few times isn't exactly my idea of fun.”
Asked what was going through his mind as that scene unfolded, he added: “Trying to protect my knee. I don't think anybody really understands until you actually you're coming out of surgery how -- I mean, even when I was doing rehab and there's five people kind of standing by your knee, you get a little skittish.
“I don't mind waiting or being in that crowd but I don't know, it felt like somebody tried to, I don't know what the deal was, but it is what it is. I’ll be putting it in ice today. It feels like shit right now.”
Koepka was then asked if he believed a spectator intentionally tried to injure him, to which he replied: “I don't know, it got bumped a few times. Somebody jammed Ricky [Elliott, Koepka’s caddie]. Rickie stopped unintentionally because he got drilled in the face, and then I got drilled in the back because he got stopped so quickly. I don't know what the deal was. There were so many people around.”
Fan antics aside, Koepka added he was “super disappointed” not to leave with the Wanamaker Trophy.
“I’m pretty bummed. I'm not happy. I don't know if there's a right word I can say here without getting fined, but it hurts a little bit. It's one of those things where I just never felt comfortable over the putts. I don't know why.”
Koepka's father, Bob, has taken to Twitter to voice his displeasure at the scenes that unfolded on the final hole.