Mickelson becomes the oldest of the great champions
Phil Mickelson is the longest-serving major champion in golf history after completing a week of storytelling amidst wild scenes at the 103rd PGA Championship.
The 50-year-old fought off Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen to win by two shots – a 73 over par on Sunday giving him a total of six under 282.
In scenes reminiscent of Tiger Woods’ epic return to the winner’s circle in 2018 at the TOUR Championship, spectators smashed containment lines and flooded the 18th fairway of the Ocean Course before Mickelson could even reach the green.
It’s the sixth major in Mickelson’s career, but the first since winning the British Open in 2013.
By winning his second PGA Championship 16 years after his first, Mickelson breaks the record held by 1968 PGA Championship winner Julius Boros (48) as the game’s oldest major champion.
“I mean, it’s just an amazing feeling because I just believed it was possible, but yet everything said it wasn’t,” Mickelson said.
Mickelson started the final round with a one-stroke lead down the windswept course and despite three bogeys in his opening seven holes, he produced three magnificent birdies to make up for them.
The veteran will forever remember an incredible shot that energized the teeming galleries and his own energy, on par three fifths.
After a tee shot landed in an area of sandy sand, the small game wizard pulled out his next shot for birdie.
When he birdied the 10th hole, Mickelson was four strokes ahead of the challengers and while Oosthuizen shot less than three after a birdie at the 12th hole, the South African collapsed with a double bogey. a hole later.
Mickelson was clear five with six holes to go, but got some nerves with bogeys at the 13th and 14th holes.
A birdie on 16 but bogey on 17 meant he went to the 18th tee leading by two.
A brilliant approach 16 feet from the left sealed the deal.
“The greatest moment in a legendary career, Phil beats his father’s time,” longtime golf presenter Jim Nantz said as Mickelson tapped the winning putt.
Koepka (74) and Oosthuizen (73) split second place by four under.
Koepka birdied the first hole to lead squarely, but doubled the second to give it back to the veteran.
Back-to-back bogeys at 10 and 11 and another at 13 made his road to victory more difficult.
Oosthuizen won the Open 2010 title 3,962 days ago. It remains his only major victory and he now has five finalists in the biggest golf tournaments.
Top-ranked Australian player Cameron Smith raised slight hopes of a top 10 charge with two birdies to open his final lap, but a bogey and a double bogey soon after started a big slide to a 77 and seven-plus.
European Tour player Jason Scrivener finished as first Aussie with a score of three under 69, which saw West Australia move to one for the week, tied for 23rd rank in his second major.
Former world No.1 Jason Day has failed in his quest to finish in the top 17 in the tournament, the mark needed to qualify for the US Open.
An under 71 has left him four on and T44 for the week.
Matt Jones finished strong with a 68 for a brace and a T30, Cameron Davis (72) finished seven times with Lucas Herbert (72) nine over.