Phil Mickelson has made history at 50 years old by becoming the oldest winner of a golf major, after a drama-charged final round of the PGA Championship. Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship by two shots over Brooks Koepka and South African Louis Oosthuizen on Sunday (Monday AEST) to become the oldest major winner in history.
The 50-year-old Phil Mickelson, who started the day with a one-shot lead over Brooks Koepka, put the finishing touches on one of the most impressive in golf with a one-over-par 73 at the Ocean Course that left him at six-under on the week.
A month short of his 51st birthday, Phil Mickelson recorded a two-shot triumph at Kiawah Island, to claim his 6th major title, and first since the 2013 Open Championship.
The left-hander shot a one-over-par 73 at Kiawah Island, South Carolina, to complete on six-under 282, two shots in front of fellow American and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka (74) and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen (73) on 4-under par.
A surreal scene at the 18th hole saw observers surround the green and chanting “Lefty” as he two-putted for par to finish a record-breaking triumph for the ages.
By gathering the 6th major of his career and first since the 2013 British Open, Phil Mickelson outperformed Julius Boros, who was 48 years of age when he won the 1968 PGA Championship, as the oldest major winner.
After a significant front nine that produced twists and turns at seemingly every hole, it was fan-favorite Phil Mickelson who arose two shots clear at the turn and absorbing energy from the restricted observers in participation at the year’s second major.
Even though restricted in number, the group would later be thrown into the spotlight by Brooks Koepka, who responded furiously to getting “dinged a few times” by the gallery on the 18th hole.
After Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson played their shots to the final green, fans amassed the fairway in scenes suggestive of British Opens of a past period.
Brooks Koepka, who is as yet recuperating from a dislocated kneecap, appeared to have been collateral damage of the swarm and was even left contemplating whether some of the knocks he got may have been deliberate.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had an experience like that, so thank you for that,” Phil Mickelson told the crowd as he accepted the Wanamaker Trophy. “Slightly unnerving, but especially awesome.”
The group, restricted to 10,000 people by Covid-19 security measures, thundered with every successful swing by Phil Mickelson, making an electric atmosphere throughout the day on the punishing Ocean Course, the longest layout in major history at 7876 yards.
“This is just an incredible feeling,” Phil Mickelson said. “I just believed it was possible but everything was saying it wasn’t.
“I hope others take that inspiration. It might take working on your skills but, God is it worth it.”
It was the first major victory for Phil Mickelson since the 2013 British Open.
Since the first major competition was played in 1860, Julius Boros, who was successful at the PGA in 1968 at 48 years old, was already the oldest player to win on golf’s greatest stage.
In ordinary Phil Mickelson fashion, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. With a three-shot lead standing on the 17th tee, the left-hander missed the green long, tracking down the thick, shin-high rough.
He had the option to impact out securely, even though he was unable to save par and saw his lead cut to two strokes.
Notwithstanding, his playing partner Brooks Koepka couldn’t make Phil Mickelson sweat on the 18th, with a tap-in par enough to keep up his two-shot lead and seal the victory.
Phil Mickelson eradicated the major age win mark set by American Julius Boros when he captured the 1968 PGA Championship at age 48.
The world No.115 secured his 6th major competition, adding to his three Masters titles, a British Open and PGA Championship.
With 16 years between PGA Championship triumphs, Phil Mickelson secured the longest gap between wins at a similar major, gathering the top prize of $2.1 million ($2.7m).
Phil Mickelson moved three shots clear after a birdie at the par-four 10th and the final stretch was more a coronation than a dogfight as four-time major champion Brooks Koepka and 2010 British Open champ Louis Oosthuizen ran out of holes.
Mickelson, who led by five shots with six holes to play, saw his lead cut to two shots after intruder at the thirteenth and fourteenth compounded by a birdie at the sixteenth by Louis Oosthuizen, who was playing in the penultimate pairing.
However, with triumph in sight, an undeterred Phil Mickelson showed extraordinary determination and surprisingly streaked a thumbs-up to the crowd as he proceeded to recover a three-shot cushion with a birdie at the sixteenth before a bogey-par finish.
Dramatic final round
Phil Mickelson made a one-shot lead over Brooks Koepka into the last 18 holes, however missed a 13-foot par putt at the first hole while Koepka curled into a 12-footer for birdie to seize the lead.
It was short-lived thanks to Brooks Koepka’s double-bogey disaster at the par-5 second, where he hit a tree left off the tee and bungled a greenside chip from sand while Mickelson pitched inches from the cup and tapped in for birdie to get a two-stroke lead.
Phil Mickelson left a 30-foot par putt inches short to bogey the third, however, holed his heavenly chip-in at the fifth to restore his edge to two.
He holed a 50-foot chip for birdie at the par-3 fifth and was pounding in a tension-packed battle at breezy Kiawah Island.
Mickelson made the turn on 7-under for the competition, in front of Koepka and Oosthuizen on 5-under and American Kevin Streelman fourth on 3-under.
Brooks Koepka’s charge disintegrates
Brooks Koepka fell back with three bogeys in the first four holes on the back nine. He made two bogeys and a double bogey on par-5 holes to crush his expectations.
At the point when Louis Oosthuizen made double bogey at the thirteenth, falling back to 3-under, Mickelson possessed a five-stroke lead with six holes remaining.
Phil Mickelson discovered water at the thirteenth and made bogey on Sunday’s hardest hole, then missed a seven-foot par putt at the par 3 fourteenth for a bogey that expanded the tension, leaving Louis Oosthuizen three afloat with four to play and the week’s hardest holes remaining.
Yet, Mickelson hit his longest drive of the week, 366 yards, into the 16th fairway, at that point went over the green, pitched within inches from the cup, and tapped in for birdie to restore his three-stroke edge.
With fans reciting Phil Mickelson’s name as he walked to every shot, his tee shot discovered deep grass at the par-3 seventeenth. He impacted to 23 feet and two-putted for bogey, making a two-shot lead to the eighteenth tee.
Phil Mickelson drove left close to a hospitality tent at that point put his methodology on the green to start a scene where onlookers followed, then surrounded him as he took his last steps to a historic moment.
45th US PGA Tour title
It was the 45th career US PGA Tour win, his first since 2019 at Pebble Beach.
Phil Mickelson improved to 4-for-6 in majors with 54-hole leads or shared leads, succeeding at the 2004 and 2006 Masters and the 2005 and 2021 PGA yet sharing second at the 2006 and 2013 US Opens.
His other major successes came at the 2010 Masters and the 2013 British Open. With 16 years between PGA Championship wins, Mickelson owns the longest gap between succeeds at a similar major.
Brooks Koepka, battling through pain to play after right knee surgery two months prior, won the 2018 and 2019 PGAs and might have become the first player to win similar major three times in four years since Tom Watson in 1980, 1982 1983 British Opens.
Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, who won the 2012 PGA at Kiawah, granulated out a 72 to complete on 293.
American Jordan Spieth was out of conflict for a triumph to finish a career Grand Slam.
Oosthuizen (73) and Koepka (74) completed in a share of second place while European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington (69), Ireland’s Shane Lowry (69), Englishman Paul Casey (71), and Harry Higgs (70) were a further two shots back in fourth place.
Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy won the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in 2012 and was a favorite for the current week, shut with an even-par 72 that left him at five over par.
- 282 – Phil Mickelson
- 284 – Louis Oosthuizen, Brooks Koepka
- 286 – Harry Higgs, Paul Casey, Padraig Harrington, Shane Lowry
- 287 – Rickie Fowler, Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, Abraham Ancer, Tony Finau, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose