Phil Mickelson wins PGA Championship to become oldest major winner in golf history and ‘an inspiration’ in Tiger Woods’ eyes who led tributes on Twitter
Phil Mickelson became the oldest major winner in history with his win at the 103rd PGA Championship.
This was his sixth major golf title and comes 16 years on from lifting the Wanamaker Trophy for the first time.
“This is just an incredible feeling because I just believed that it was possible, but yet everything was saying it wasn’t,” Mickelson, who began the week as a 280-1 outsider said.
“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.”
Julius Boros had been the previous oldest major champion, winning the US PGA title in 1968 at the age of 48.
Mickelson carded a closing 73 amid manic scenes around the 18th green, finishing six under par and two shots ahead of Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen.
He was mobbed by spectators after hitting a superb approach to the 18th and needed assistance from security guards to force his way on to the green.
However, Koepka, who had surgery for a knee cap dislocation and ligament damage in March, did not seem impressed by this.
“It would have been cool if I didn’t have a knee injury and got dinged a few times in the knee in that crowd because no one really gave a s***,” he said.
“It’s cool for Phil, but getting dinged a few times isn’t exactly my idea of fun.
“I don’t think anybody really understands until actually you’re coming out of surgery how… I mean, even when I was doing rehab and there’s five people kind of standing by your knee, you get a little skittish.”
Mickelson will be 51 on June 16, the day before the US Open – which he needs to win to complete the career grand slam – gets under way at Torrey Pines.
And his achievement on Sunday was acknowledged by rival Tiger Woods.
“Truly inspirational to see Phil Mickelson do it again at 50 years of age. Congrats,” he tweeted.