Before the 2021 PGA championship, Vegas gave Phil Mickelson 200-1 odds to win his sixth major. You probably didn’t give him much of a chance, either. Lefty came in 69th place in his last tournament and missed the cut at the one before. He couldn’t crack the top 20 at the 2021 Masters. Hell, he couldn’t break into the top 20 at any point this season. And Phil’s last major win? Back in 2013 at The Open Championship — when he was 43.
But today, weeks away from his 51st birthday, Mickelson became the oldest golfer to win a major championship. He shot a 73 for the final round, still enough to capture his second Wanamaker trophy.
Mickelson earned his first PGA Tour victory in 1991, one year after his playing partner, Brooks Koepka, was born.
Their final pairing was the main draw on Sunday afternoon. Koepka, 31, has already won four majors. And heading into the final round, he was the favorite to win.
But besides “Mickelson vs. Koepka,” the other matchup networks liked to broadcast was “Mickelson vs. time.” Could he actually play his best golf for four straight days at 50? By now, you know the answer.
Koepka and Mickelson went into Sunday at -6 and -7, respectively, and finished at -4 and -6 for the tournament.
They traded the lead for the first few holes. But a chip-n birdie at No. 5 was the first sign that Mickelson was not going to let his lead slip. It was also the shot of the weekend.
After finishing with an even 36 on the front nine, Mickelson birdied No. 10. The fans, still at limited capacity, were loving it.
Phil would bogey 13, 14, and 17 to make the final few holes a bit more interesting. But it didn’t matter. He had a two-shot lead going into 18 and a mass of fans awaited him on the green.
And what does that win mean for Phil? Well, history as the oldest major winner, obviously. The biggest win of his career? Definitely. Plus, he’s now tied for 12th on the all time major wins list. He’ll get prize money, a big silver trophy, a boost to his legacy and all that good stuff, too. Anything else? I mean, is there anything more to ask for?
He’ll be 51 when he tees off at the US open next month. But I’d be surprised if we see him win another major.
Then again, he just proved us all wrong. What are the odds he could do it again?