Sports

50-Year-Old Phil Mickelson Became The Oldest Major Winner Ever At The PGA Championship

On Sunday afternoon at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, Phil Mickelson made history as the oldest major winner in the history of golf, as the 50-year-old stared down Brooks Koepka in the final pairing to win the 2021 PGA Championship, his sixth major title and first since the 2013 Open Championship.

Mickelson entered the final round with a one stroke lead on Koepka and the two traded blows early in what was a nervy start for both. After the first hole, the two had swapped places following a Phil bogey and Brooks birdie. Phil then birdied the second while Koepka made his first double of the week with a 7 on the par 5, giving Mickelson a two shot advantage. Mickelson then found himself back up just one after a bogey on three and the sloppy start from the leaders had suddenly brought a bunch of others into the mix.

On the sixth, Mickelson earned his first massive roar of the day with a vintage make from the sandy area short of the green for birdie, causing an eruption at Kiawah.

On 10, he extended his lead to four and it would eventually reach five as it looked like a runaway was on the way.

He would hit some hiccups with a pair of bogeys in the middle of his back nine to see his lead cut to two, but down the stretch, Phil put on a show as only he can. He hit the longest drive of anybody all week on 16 at 366 yards — besting Koepka’s 361-yard effort — and then hitting a masterful chip shot from over the green to set up a birdie to extend his lead to three.

On 17, Mickelson played it safe on the long par-3 over water, launching an iron over the back of the green and while he was unable to get up and down for par, his bogey was perfectly fine to keep a two-shot advantage going to the last. There, he put a drive once again in the place of least danger, sending it way up into the crowd left of the fairway and hit a beauty of an iron from there to officially begin the coronation walk up the 18th, with a sea of humanity behind him.

Phil had three putts to win and only needed two, cozying the first putt right up to the hole and then tapping it in for a final round 73 and a history-making win. Mickelson entered as a 200-1 longshot, having not won a tournament on the PGA Tour since 2019 and having not finished in the top 10 of a major since 2016. Still, he passed Julius Boros, winner of the 1968 PGA, as the oldest winner at a major in golf history and created an unforgettable scene at Kiawah in the process.

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