Phil Mickelson’s PGA Championship win one for the ages

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Phil Mickelson, at age 50, became the oldest golfer to win a Major tournament with his PGA Championship victory.

After an incredible four rounds of golf at the PGA Championship, Phil Mickelson, age 50, became the oldest golfer to ever win a major championship, breaking Julius Boros’ record when he won the 1968 PGA Championship at 48 years old. Mickelson hasn’t won a major since the 2010 Masters when he shot an incredible 16-under par for the tournament, consisting of three rounds of 67. Mickelson had not finished higher than top 20 this season, and hasn’t won on tour since 2019 at Pebble Beach.

The conditions at the beautiful The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina were as disastrous as they could have been. At 20-25 mph, the wind knocked around some of the best in the world. The likes of Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, and Xander Schauffele ranked 1, 2, and 4 in the world respectively, all missed the cut after the second round and were sent home before the weekend could start. Not to mention the wind totally shifted on Sunday, meaning the golfers were essentially playing a whole different course for the last day. 

As for Mickelson’s performance, it was like the course was made for him. He ranked first in birdies for the tournament, and made only one double bogey. He also ranked sixth in putts per greens in regulation (GIR), never going above two. That means for every green in regulation that Mickelson hit, he had an average of less than two putts on those greens. 

Mickelson’s first round started roughly, with four bogeys on the front nine and a +2 start, but he  made it up after the turn, with an outstanding back nine consisting of four birdies. He then went out on Friday and made an incredible six birdies on the first 11 holes, and ended the round at three under and tied for the lead. 

Heading into the back nine9 on Saturday, it looked as if Mickelson had the tournament in the bag, holding a sizable lead. Then came holes 12 and 13. His drive on the par four 12th hole went into a waste bunker, and because he was 180 yards to the pin, he had to just chip it out to give himself a wedge in. The wedge shot ended up 30 ft from the pin, which he followed with a two-putt, bringing his score down to -9. 

That wouldn’t be the end of it as Mickelson’s drive on 13 faded too much for his liking and ended up wet. He wasn’t able to scramble his way out and ended up posting a six for a double bogey. He finished the round with five straight pars, putting himself at seven-under with a one-stroke lead over Palm Beach County native and resident Brooks Koepka.

Sunday saw Mickelson hold off Koepka and all other challengers with a one-over 73, posting five birdies and six bogeys. Three of those bogeys came on a five-hole stretch on the back nine, but Koepka could not take advantage, posting a two-over 74 for the round to finish two strokes off Mickelson’s lead.

Mickelson has been receiving praise from not just people in the golf world, but anyone who follows sports including Jimmy Fallon, The New England Patriots, and even the USWNT captain Carli Lloyd. Mickelson was in the news again this week, as the sequel to his celebrity match was announced. On July 6, in Montana, Mickelson will try to avenge his last loss with teammate Tom Brady against Aaron Rodgers and Bryson Dechambeau in an 18 hole re-match for charity.

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