Phil Mickelson entered this Sunday in the Ocean course from Kiawah Island (South Carolina) in the history of golf (even more so because it was already part of it) and of sport in general by winning with 50 years (turns 51 next June 6) PGA Championship, thus becoming the oldest champion in the history of the ‘majors’ surpassing the triumph of his compatriot Julius Boros, who at the age of 48 precisely won the PGA in 1968. Jack Nicklaus donned his sixth green jacket at the age of 46.
Mickelson signed on the last day played with a very different wind from the rest of the tournament days 73 strokes for 282 (-6) and two ahead of the South African Louis Oosthuizen and his compatriot Brooks koepka, who was looking to win the same ‘big’ for the third time in a space of 4 years. Highlight that Jon rahm in the end he slipped into the top 10, to be more exact, 8th tied 5 shots behind Mickelson. And also the magnificent 4th place of the European captain of the Ryder Cup, the Irishman Padraig Harrington, also close to turning 50, and winner of this PGA in 2008.
This PGA 2021 is Mickelson’s sixth Grand Slam after the Augusta Masters of 2004, 2006 and 2010, the PGA of 2005 and the British Open of 2013. In addition, the six runners-up at the US Open stand out. He also reaches 45 victories on the PGA Tour equaling 8th on the list, Walter Hagen. His last top 10 in a ‘big’ was a 2nd ex aequo at the British in 2016. His last win at the circuit, the Pebble Beach Pro-am in 2019. His last top 10 on the PGA Tour, 2nd place tied in the FedEx World Cup in 2020. And this Sunday marks 30 years between his first and last victory on the tour: in 1991 he won the Tucson Open while still an amateur.
Therefore, ‘hats off’ (to remove the hat) with a ‘Lefty’ very concentrated, serene, calculating and attentive to the fans but without excesses, and who after a tense and nervous start to the day (he and Koepka) he was intoned, opened a gap in the middle of the route and then managed that advantage, which caused his two great rivals, Koepka and Oosthuizen, to first throw like someone who says the towel and later they fight until the last putt.
“I want to thank my wife for their support, and my brother Tim for the great job he has done this week, without them this would not have been possible,” said an excited Mickelson at the award ceremony. “I love what I do, and beating Brooks heads-up has been a great challenge,” added Phil. “I have never had an experience with the public like this. Thank you! He sentenced.
On Saturday, 70 strokes and 209 in total made him the leading oldest player after 54 holes in a major since Tom watson, 59, at the Turnberry British Open in 2009 (he finished 2nd behind Stewart Cink, who ‘ruined’ a brutal story that we can now tell with Mickelson). Greg norman, with 53, he also led with 18 holes remaining at the 2008 British (finished 3rd tied). And Julius Boros, with 53, led after the third day of the 1973 US Open finishing 7th tied.
The San Diego southpaw had a golden opportunity this Sunday to be the oldest player to win a major. And he did not miss it. Julius Boros was 48 years and 4 months old when he won the 1968 PGA Championship. The public, on the 18th hole, enjoyed the extraordinary triumph of ‘Lefty’, a great champion for a great tournament on a great stage. People ran like possessed towards the green to have the best place. It was madness. The organization was totally overwhelmed.
For his victory in this second Grand Slam of the season, which distributed a whopping $ 12 million in prize money, Mickelson, a member of the Hall of Fame since 2012 and who entered the PGA as 115th in the world, took a spectacular check $ 2,160,000, a 10-year exemption from the tournament and received the famous Wanamaker trophy, one of the most iconic in golf. And also the heaviest …
“It is incredible that at his age he still has the enthusiasm of a child. He’s the same guy I have and he’s been playing golf for 25 years. He is one of the people for whom I would be just as happy if he wins as if I win. He is a great friend and I hope he wins, “said Jon Rahm after finishing in the top 10 about his friend, mentor and godfather Phil Mickelson. No sooner said than done. Phil studied at the same university in Arizona as Jon and ‘Lefty’s’ brother, Tim, his current caddy, was Rahm’s manager at the beginning of his professional career.
282 Phil Mickelson (USA) 70 69 70 73
284 Louis Oosthuizen (SAF) 71 68 72 73
Brooks Koepka (USA) 69 71 70 74
286 Padraig Harrington (Irl) 71 73 73 69
Shane Lowry (Irl) 73 71 73 69
Harry Higgs (USA) 72 71 73 70
Paul Casey (GBR) 71 71 73 71
287 Abraham Ancer (Mex) 74 72 76 65
Justin Rose (GBR) 72 75 73 67
Collin Morikawa (USA) 70 75 74 68
Jon Rahm (Esp / 8th) 72 75 72 68
Rickie Fowler (USA) 71 76 69 71