Oldest Sporting Champions - Phil Mickelson Joins The List

Phil Mickelson is the oldest player to win a men’s golfing Major. Here we consider some other veteran champions in sport.

Oldest Sporting Champions
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson is the oldest player to win a men’s golfing Major. Here we consider some other veterans who picked up top sporting titles.

Oldest Sporting Champions - Phil Mickelson Joins The List

In winning the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, Phil Mickelson became the oldest man ever to win a Major golf championship.

At 50 years, 11 months and seven days he beat the previous record held by Julius Boros, who won the 1968 PGA Championship at 48 years, four months and 18 days by more than 30 months.

Phil joins a list of veteran competitors who have secured one of the most significant prizes in their sport in the latter years of their competitive careers.

Here we look at a few of them.

Oldest Sporting Champions - Phil Mickelson Joins The List

Bernard Hopkins – Boxing

Bernard Hopkins - Oldest Sporting Champions

Bernard Hopkins

Bernard Hopkins is one of the most successful boxers of the last 30 years. He held multiple world championships through his career and was undisputed middleweight champion from 2001 to 2005.

Hopkins longevity within a punishing sport was incredible. Aged 46 he became the oldest boxer in history to win a world championship.

He broke his own record, most latterly in beating Beibut Shumenov (above) to unify the light heavyweight titles in 2014. Hopkins was 49.

Ken Rosewall – Tennis

Ken Rosewall

Ken Rosewall

Australia’s Ken Rosewall is the oldest player to have won a grand slam tennis singles event.

Rosewall was 37 years, two months and one day old when he beat Malcolm Anderson in the final of the 1972 Australian Open.

It was the Aussie’s eighth grand slam title. He reached the 1974 Wimbledon final just months before his 40th birthday but was beaten by Jimmy Connors – 18 years his junior!

Juan Manuel Fangio – Formula One

Juan Manuel Fangio - Oldest Sporting Champions

Juan Manuel Fangio

The great Argentinian driver Fangio won the Formula One World Championship on five occasions between 1951 and 1957.

When he took the last of his titles, he was 46 years and 41 days old.

Fangio won 46.15% of the races he entered during his career – more than any other driver in the history of the sport.

Luigi Fangioli is the oldest driver to win a Formula One race. He took the 1951 French Grand Prix aged 53 years and 22 days.

Oscar Swahn – Shooting

Not exactly a household name, but Sweden’s Oscar Swahn is the oldest person to win an Olympic gold medal.

He was 64 years and 258 days old when he participated in the winning Running Deer shooting team at the 1912 Games in Stockholm.

Dino Zoff – Football

Dino Zoff

Dino Zoff

The Italian is the oldest player to win a football World Cup. The goalkeeper was 40 years, four months and 13 days when Italy triumphed in 1982.

Zoff made 112 appearances for his country between 1968 and 1983.

He was captain of the Italian 1982 World Cup-winning side and was named as the best goalkeeper of the tournament.

Phil Taylor - Darts

Phil Taylor - Oldest Sporting Champions

Phil Taylor

Darting legend Phil “The Power” Taylor won an astonishing 16 world championship titles in a career spanning more than 30 years.

Taylor’s final world championship win came in 2013 when he beat Michael van Gerwen to take the title at the age of 52.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?