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PGA chief apologises over crowd scenes that made players 'feel vulnerable'

Seth Waugh made the apology to Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka following the conclusion of the PGA Championship.

Phil Mickelson tries to move through the crowd on the 18th hole at Kiawah Island.
Phil Mickelson tries to move through the crowd on the 18th hole at Kiawah Island.
Image: Matt York

PGA CHIEF EXECUTIVE Seth Waugh has apologized after the raucous crowd scenes that marked the climax of Phil Mickelson’s PGA Championship victory at Kiawah Island the day before.

In a statement, Waugh said the PGA had apologized to both Mickelson and Brooks Koepka after they were mobbed by fans as they headed up the 18th fairway on the Ocean Course.

Mickelson later described the chaotic scenes as “unnerving but incredible,” but Koepka was unimpressed after complaining of being “dinged” by spectators.

“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 cared,” Koepka said.

“It’s cool for Phil but getting dinged a few times isn’t exactly my idea of fun.”

Waugh said Monday that tournament security had been “overwhelmed” by the rush of spectators cheering the 50-year-old Mickelson as he headed towards becoming the oldest major winner in history.

“While we welcome enthusiastic fan engagement, we regret that a moment of high elation and pent-up emotion by spectators during the conclusion of yesterday’s historic PGA Championship briefly overwhelmed security and made two players and their caddies feel vulnerable,” Waugh said in a statement.

“We always put player safety at the top of our list and are grateful order was restored. I have spoken to both players and apologized on behalf of the Association.”

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