Phil Mickelson Becomes Oldest Ever Major Winner At PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson Becomes Oldest Ever Major Winner At PGA Championship

Phil Mickelson Wins PGA Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson overcame a nervy start and back nine to become the oldest ever Major winner, with a final round 73 securing a two shot victory.

Phil Mickelson Becomes Oldest Ever Major Winner At PGA Championship

In a hugely dramatic final round, which saw a number of two-shot swings. Mickelson claimed his first Major title in eight years.

The 50-year-old now joins the likes of Lee Trevino and Sir Nick Faldo as a six-time Major champion.

Mickelson had started the final round with a one shot lead over Brooks Koepka (opens in new tab), but that advantage was soon reversed as Mickelson made bogey and Koepka made birdie.

Phil Mickelson Wins PGA Championship

Mickelson now earns a five-year exemption into the US Open. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

But, in what was a common theme throughout the day, that all changed, with the four-time Major champion making a double at the par-5 second and Mickelson making a birdie to put himself into a two-shot lead.

Another two-shot swing was soon on the cards at the next hole. With Mickelson in for a bogey, Koepka would miss a three-foot birdie putt (opens in new tab), settling for par and a one shot deficit to the 50-year-old.

With pars at the fourth, Mickelson would hole out from the bunker for birdie at the next to extend his lead to two shots. (opens in new tab)

Once again, there would be yet another two-shot swing, with the 50-year-old making bogey at the sixth and Koepka making birdie to put the pair back to level.

However, yet another two-shot swing would follow! This time, Mickelson would make birdie and Koepka would produce bogey.

Some normality would follow at the eighth and ninth, with the par both making back-to-back pars.

Related: How Many Majors Has Phil Mickelson Won? (opens in new tab)

Back Nine Tension

Starting the back nine, Mickelson produced a big blow. Sticking his approach shot at the 10th hole to 12-foot. He would then hole the birdie putt to put himself four ahead.

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That lead was soon five, as Koepka produced a poor bogey at the par-5 11th, despite being in the middle of the fairway with his drive.

With Koepka struggling, Louis Oosthuizen (opens in new tab) was emerging as the nearest contender to Mickelson, but that would all change as the South African made a costly double bogey at the 13th.

Related: Who Are The Oldest Men's Major Winners? (opens in new tab)

Despite his comfortable lead, Mickelson would start to struggle, with back-to-back bogies at the 13th and 14th dropping his lead back to three shots from Oosthuizen.

Koepka (opens in new tab) wasn't giving in though, with a phenomenal up-and-down on the 14th, being followed by a classy birdie at the 15th. Putting him alongside Oosthuizen at three back.

Playing the par-5 16th, Oosthuizen would narrowly miss his eagle putt, tapping in to claw himself back to two shots of Mickelson.

Playing the 16th, both Koepka and Mickelson would produce stunning birdies, putting Mickelson at seven-under-par and his playing partner at four-under for the tournament.

Phil Mickelson Wins PGA Championship

Mickelson and Koepka both produced drives of over 360 yards at the 16th hole. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Despite Mickelson going long at the par-3 17th, he would chip onto the green and two putt for bogey, guaranteeing a two shot lead going up the 72nd hole.

Up ahead, Oosthuizen (opens in new tab) would produce safe pars at the 17th and 18th to set the clubhouse target at four-under-par.

With a stunning approach shot into the last, Mickelson would two-putt for par and an incredible sixth Major title.

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With victory, Mickelson will now receive a five-year exemption into the US Open, the only Major that has eluded him for the career Grand Slam.

Speaking after his triumph, Mickelson said: "I mean, this is just an incredible feeling because I just believed that it was possible but yet everything was saying it wasn't.

"I hope that others find that inspiration. It might take a little extra work, a little bit harder effort to maintain physically or maintain the skills, but gosh, is it worth it in the end, and I'm so appreciative to be holding this Wanamaker Trophy.

"I just love this game and I love what I do, and I love the challenge of competing against such great players. I mean, what an incredible competitor Brooks Koepka is, and to have a chance to play in the final group with him was an exceptional honor.

It's been really fun for me to see his development. I remember playing a practice round with him in 2013 at Oak Hill PGA Championship and seeing the way his game has developed, and what a tough player he is. It was a really difficult task for me to go head-to-head and come out on top and I'm appreciative of the opportunity."

Matt Cradock
Freelance Staff Writer

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.