Rickie Fowler Says PGA Apologized for Rushed 72nd Hole at PGA Championship

Rickie Fowler hits his second shot to the par-5 18th hole in the final round of the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla.
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We’re sorry.

That was PGA of America President Ted Bishop’s message to Rickie Fowler about the controversial 72nd hole of the PGA Championship at Valhalla last month, according to Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard.

“He apologized for the way it went down,” Fowler said of his talk with Bishop this week. “It was a little unfortunate for a tournament to end like that with everyone being rushed.”

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Fowler and Phil Mickelson were trailing eventual winner Rory McIlroy by two strokes as they approached the par-5 18th hole. In an attempt to complete the final round before the sun went down, Fowler and Mickelson allowed McIlroy to tee off as they walked to their tee shots in the fairway.

Fowler and Mickelson then hit their shots to the green, and while they were on the green, McIlroy hit his second shot, laying up to a bunker short of the green.

However, Fowler later said he and Mickelson did not give their consent to McIlroy’s second shot.

“I was okay with Rory and hitting up off the tee and checked with Phil prior to them doing that and he was okay that,” Fowler said at the Barclays. “But we had no intentions or didn't say anything. … to allow them to hit their second shots into the green, so I'm not sure where the guys at the PGA got that idea.”

Mickelson made birdie on the hole after just missing a chip for eagle, while Fowler missed his birdie putt and made par. A few minutes later, as darkness covered the course, McIlroy two-putted for par to win by one shot

Two weeks later at the Barclays, Fowler was still bothered by what happened on the final hole at the PGA Championship.

“But it is what it is and kind of unfortunate,” Fowler said. “It would have been nice to hit my putt and have a little bit of a better look at it. 

“But, you know, Rory's played a great summer,” he continued. “Not saying that it would have changed the outcome of the tournament, but maybe a little bit of the flow of the way everything happened on the last hole.”

According to Fowler, Bishop also has apologized to Mickelson for the rushed finish.

“We were fine with them hitting their tee balls up, but we were not in a position where we were going to let them hit their approach shots,” Fowler said. “Will it ever happen again in a major championship? No.”

Fowler finished in the top five at all four majors in 2014, but did not record a win all season.

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