Who are the oldest Major winners in the men's game?
Who Are The Oldest Major Winners?
The most recent winners of golf’s four Majors suggest that it is a very much a young man’s game at the elite level.
As the greats of the game get older, their chance at winning one of golf’s four Majors decreases exponentially.
However, this list of the oldest winners of a men’s Major are the anomalies to the rule as they shattered the record books.
Who Are The Oldest Men’s Major Winners?
Phil Mickelson 50 years 11 months 8 days – 2021 PGA Championship
Phil broke a 53 year old record when he won the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.
It was Phil’s first major since the 2013 Open as he stunned the golfing world into a week of breathtaking golf.
The scenes as he approached the 18th hole at Kiawah Island were unlike anything ever seen at a PGA Championship.
Julius Boros 48 years and 4 months – 1968 PGA Championship
Boros won the 1968 PGA Championship when he was 48 years and 4 months old.
It was the third of the three Majors he secured in his career and he won at Harding Park in San Francisco, where Collin Morikawa won his first Major in 2020.
He won by 1 shot – finishing +1 for the tournament – and took home a cash prize of $25,000.
Nicknamed Moose by his peers, Boros was renowned for excelling on particularly difficult golf courses and at US Open, of which he won two.
Boros would go on to lead the 1973 US Open after 54 holes at the age of 53, but would eventually finish 7th.
Tom Morris Sr. 46 years and 3 months – 1867 Open
Tom Morris Sr. won the eighth addition of the Open Championship in 1867 at the age of 46 years and 3 months.
It was his fourth and final Open victory, in which he basically dominated the whole of the 1860s.
Nicknamed ‘Old Tom Morris’ his 1867 win wasn’t his final appearance at the Open and he shot 81 at the age of 64 at St Andrews.
In a field of just 10 Scottish men, Morris won by two strokes and took home a prize of £7.
Jack Nicklaus 46 years and 2 months – 1986 Masters
This was Jack’s final Major victory at the age of 46 years and 2 months.
It was his sixth Masters as he beat Tom Kite and Greg Norman by one shot in a memorable tournament at Augusta National.
He won this final green jacket in 1986 six years after winning his previous Major – a relative drought in his decorated career.
This victory pocketed The Golden Bear $144,000 in prize money, more than seven times the amount he won at his first Masters victory in 1963.
Jerry Barber 45 years and 3 months – 1961 PGA Championship
Jerry Barber’s win at the 1961 PGA Championship at Olympia Fields came when he was 45 years and 3 months old and – as the original caption to this 1961 print says – at just 5 foot 5 inches tall.
This was his only Major victory and – other than a T40th finish in 1963 – he either withdrew or missed the cut at every PGA Championship until his last appearance in 1983.
Not to take away from his historic victory, Barber holed a combined 120ft of putts on the final three holes of the final round to force a 18 hole play off which he would win by one stroke.
Hale Irwin 45 years old – 1990 US Open
Hale Irwin’s victory at the 1990 US Open at Medinah Country Club came just after his 45th birthday.
This was his third Major victory – all in US Open events – and he won his first in 1974 at the age of 29.
He also ranks first on the all time list of Champions Tour victories with 45 wins, 7 of which were Majors.