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PGA of America apologizes to Mickelson, Koepka for fan overflow on final hole

May 25, 2021

Darren Carroll/PGA of America

PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh has apologized for the lack of crowd control at the conclusion of the PGA Championship.

As the final pairing of Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka approached the 18th green at Ocean Course on Sunday evening, fans went through ropes and past security to run up to the green with the players. “I’ve never had something like that,” Mickelson said following his win. “It was a little bit unnerving but it was exceptionally awesome, too.”

While this created an unforgettable scene for those on property as well as for viewers at home, Koepka later said his injured knee was bumped into trying to navigate through the sea of people.

“Yeah 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 sh-t, personally,” Koepka said. “But if I was fine, yeah, it would have been cool. Yeah, it's cool for Phil. But getting dinged a few times isn't exactly my idea of fun.

“[I was] trying to protect my knee. I don't think anybody really understands until you're coming out of surgery how—even when I was doing rehab and there's five people kind of standing by your knee, you get a little skittish.”

A day after the championship, Waugh issued a statement regarding what happened on the final hole.

“While we welcome enthusiastic 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 said. “We always put player safety at the top of our list and are grateful that order was restored. I have spoken to both plays and apologized on behalf of the association.”