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Fans mobbed Phil Mickelson on his final walk up to the 18th green on Sunday at the Ocean Course on Kiawah Island, but Brooks Koepka wasn’t happy about it.
Mickelson won the PGA Championship in South Carolina to claim his sixth major championship title, a feat that made him the oldest to ever win a major. That, naturally, sent golf fans into a frenzy.
In the process, however, it seems as if Mickelson’s playing partner got caught up in the mob.
“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.”
Fans swarm Phil Mickelson on No. 18
Just like they did for Tiger Woods at East Lake, fans were all over Mickelson for his final approach shot.
In fact, as he got closer and closer to the green, it looked like Mickelson wasn’t going to make it through.
Koepka, however, wasn’t anywhere to be found.
Koepka eventually made it to the green himself, and finished out his 2-over day to claim a tie for second alongside Louis Oosthuizen.
Koepka has dealt with a number of knee injuries in recent years, and underwent surgery on his knee again in March — something that limited him significantly at the Masters. He said going into this week that he wasn’t back to full strength completely, but that he was fine to compete.
Clearly, given his finish, he wasn’t lying.
But Koepka said he couldn’t enjoy that final walk up to the green at all.
“[I was] trying to protect my knee,” he said. “I don’t think anybody really understands until you’re coming out of surgery how — I mean, even when I was doing rehab there’s five people kind of standing by your knee, you get a little skittish.
“Like, I don’t mind waiting or being in a crowd but getting my — 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 s*** right now.”
His caddie, Rickie, was bothered by the scene, too.
As for whether someone tried to intentionally hit him in the commotion or not, Koepka wasn’t willing to make a definitive accusation.
“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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