As Phil Mickelson was putting the finishing touches on one of the greatest feats in golf history, fans at Kiawah Island swarmed the 18th fairway to salute the 50-year old legend.
Similar to what they’ve done at the Open Championship, and even spontaneously at East Lake in 2018, the idea was for spectators to walk with the golf legend as he made history, then surround the green to amp up the visuals for the historic moment.
Sure, it was a little disorganized at first but most moments like that are always a bit messy. The chaos, though, lasted barely a minute, and once the spectators settled in around the green, the moment instantly became iconic.
Everyone watching it in real time thought it was absolutely spectacular.
Phil called it “exceptionally awesome.” And thanked the the fans for “a special moment.”
The PGA Tour clearly didn’t think it was horrifying since they quickly posted to the Gram, comparing it to Tiger’s coronation at the Tour Championship.
Rolex even rolled out a commercial.
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) May 25, 2021
Then Brooks Koepka showed up in the interview room, and – in between dropping expletives, complained about the crowds and even insinuated fans were going for his knees.
“Somebody jammed Ricky (Elliot, his caddie),” said a surly Koepka. “Ricky stopped unintentionally because he got drilled in the face, and then I got drilled in the back 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.
He added, “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 s***, personally.
“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.”
History will show that Koepka put a damper on Phil’s coronation, and smeared the good fans of South Carolina.
He also completely changed the narrative.
So much so, that the PGA of America felt the need to make a public apology.
And, no, not for Koepka’s profanity.
They apologized for what will become one of the most iconic moments in golf history.
A statement from PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh. pic.twitter.com/nY0IKCgqe3
— PGA of America (@PGA) May 25, 2021
“While we welcome enthusiastic fan engagement,” said PGA CEO Seth Waugh, in a released statement.
“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.
“We always put player safety at the top of our list and are grateful that order was restored. I have spoken to both players and apologized on behalf of the Association.”
We know Phil called it “exceptionally awesome.” So we’re assuming Waugh is referring to Koepka who “felt vulnerable.”
Pathetic. All the way around.