Brooks Koepka Suggests Injured Knee Was “Targeted” by Rushing Fans at PGA Championship

Koepka finished the PGA Championship two strokes behind winner Phil Mickelson

Brooks Koepka lines up a putt
Brooks Koepka lines up a putt during the final round of the 2021 PGA Championship.
Getty Images

In a scene straight out of Happy Gilmore, thousands of excited golf fans swarmed Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson on the 18th fairway during Sunday’s final round of the PGA Championship at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island with the latter golfer closing in on victory.

Afterward, following 50-year-old Mickelson becoming the oldest player in history to win a major, Koepka suggested that some fans targeted the knee he had surgery on in March to fix a dislocated kneecap and ligament damage.

“I don’t think anybody really understands until you’re actually coming out of surgery how … you get a little skittish,” Koepka said of his thoughts while being swallowed up in the crowd. “I don’t mind waiting or being in that crowd but getting my — I don’t know, it felt like somebody tried to, I don’t know what the deal was, but it’s what it is. I’ll be putting it in ice today. It feels like shit right now. I don’t know what somebody was trying to do.”

As Koepka and his caddie Ricky Elliott made their way to the green, the 31-year-old’s knee got “bumped a few times.” 

“Somebody jammed Ricky, Ricky stopped unintentionally because he got drilled in the face, and then I got drilled in the back because he got stopped so quickly,” Koepka said. “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. 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 shit, 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.”

Though Koepka did seem to make his knee, not Mickelson, the focus of his post-event comments, he did congratulate his fellow golfer on his win on Twitter.

Koepka opened Sunday one stroke back of Mickelson and did take the lead after one hole. But he double-bogeyed No. 2 and ended up with a 2-over 74 on the day, tying Louis Oosthuizen for second place at 4 under, two behind Mickelson.

“I’m super disappointed, pretty bummed,” he said. “I’m not happy. I don’t know if there’s a right word I can say on here without getting fined, but it hurts a little bit.”

As for Mickelson, he couldn’t have been happier to join Nick Faldo and Lee Trevino as a six-time major winner. “I don’t know how to describe the feeling of excitement and fulfillment and accomplishment to do something when — you know, of this magnitude when very few people thought that I could,” he said.

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