The scene was chaotic, energetic, emotional but also a little too close for comfort, especially for the two golfers in the final group.
As Phil Mickelson was walking up the 18th hole on Sunday, putting the finishing touches on an historic PGA Championship victory, it was pure bedlam behind him, as fans stormed the fairway, maneuvering for position, snapping cell phone photos and generally enjoying getting a little carried away.
Security at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course was simply overwhelmed by the moment.
Many simply got too close and one spectator even grabbed Mickelson by the shoulders. When asked on Twitter about that incident, Lefty said:
Elbowed him in the ribs. He backed off.
“I’ve never had something like that,” Mickelson said at his post-round media session. “It was a little bit unnerving but it was exceptionally awesome, too.”
As for runner-up Brooks Koepka, he managed to break through the crowd after being bumped in the knee a few times and seeing his caddie, Ricky Elliott, getting “drilled” in the face.
“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–t, personally,” Koepka said.
On Monday evening, PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh released a statement, admitting fans overdid it just a bit.
He also said that he spoke to both Mickelson and Koepka to extend an apology.