Brooks Koepka used the immediate aftermath of the US PGA Championship to express his displeasure at the crowd scene at the 72nd hole, where the 31-year-old insisted his recovering knee injury had been put in peril by euphoric fans. Galleries invaded Koepka and historic champion Phil Mickelson as they wrapped up their fourth round at Kiawah Island.
Koepka, who shared second place with Louis Oosthuizen, was magnanimous towards Mickelson, 50. “Phil played really well,” said the four-time major winner. “I’m happy for him, [wife] Amy et [brother and caddie] Tim.
“I’m super happy for Phil. I hope I’m still playing at 50, but being able to participate and participate and win is a whole different thing.
Still, pressed to his thoughts as the galleries invaded the fairway, Koepka did not hold back. He had right knee surgery just weeks before this year’s master’s degree, his rehabilitation from there being an ongoing process.
Koepka said: “It would have been cool if I hadn’t had a knee injury and had my knee sank a few times in this crowd because nobody really cared. But if I was good, yeah, that would have been cool. It’s cool for Phil. But ringing the bell a few times isn’t exactly my idea of fun.
When asked what he was thinking as the crowd swarmed, Koepka added, “Trying to protect my knee. I don’t think anyone really understands until you get out of surgery how… I mean, even when I was in rehab and there are five people standing on your knees, you become one. little nervous.
“I don’t mind waiting or being in that crowd, but getting my… I don’t know, it was like someone tried, I don’t know what the deal was, but it is what it is. I’ll put it in ice today. This is crap right now.
“He was hit a few times. Someone is stuck [Koepka’s caddie] Rickie [Elliott], Rickie unintentionally stopped because he got his face pierced, then I got pierced in the bag because he stopped so quickly. I don’t know what someone tried to do or what, I don’t know what the problem was. There were so many people around.
Mickelson was naturally asked what he thought of the same scenario as he celebrated his sixth major victory and became the oldest player in history to win one of golf’s major individual events. Mickelson didn’t seem to be aware of Koepka’s sentiment.
“I’ve never had anything like this,” said the new US PGA Champion. “It was a little disconcerting, but also exceptionally awesome. So it was a special moment and I will appreciate the way the people here have supported me and the whole tournament.