US PGA Championship: Phil Mickelson becomes oldest major winner with sixth title

Phil Mickelson had his brother Tim as a caddy for the first time in a major

-6 P Mickelson (USA); -4 B. Koepka (USA), L. Oosthuizen (SA); -2 P. Harrington (Irish), S. Lowry (Irish), P. Casey (Eng) H. Higgs (US)
Selected others: -1 J. Rose (Eng), C. Morikawa (USA); +1 M. Fitzpatrick (Eng), M. Laird (Sco), I. Poulter (Eng), H. Matsuyama (Jpn); +2 J Spieth (USA); +5 R McIlroy (NI)

Phil Mickelson was the oldest man to win a major title when he won the U.S. PGA Championship on Kiawah Island in extraordinary scenes as thousands of fans flocked to the final fairway to witness the moment of victory.

It was a setback for 50-year-old Mickelson and a reminder of the sport that was missing during the Covid pandemic due to the lack of crowds.

Fans inundated the American as he marched to the green on his way to his sixth major title, eight years after his last.

“It was pretty annoying, but exceptionally great. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it,” said Mickelson, who won six under par on the Ocean Course after a one-over-par-73 win.

He finished two places ahead of American colleague Brooks Koepka, who graduated with a 74, and South African Louis Oosthuizen, who signed for a 73.

Mickelson takes the record of Julius Boros’s oldest great winner, who won that title in 1968 at the age of 48, and joins Englishman Nick Faldo and American Lee Trevino as a six-time great winner. Only 11 players won more.

“It’s just an incredible feeling. I just believed it was possible, but everyone said it wasn’t possible and I hope others find that inspiration,” added Mickelson.

“It may take a little extra work and harder exertion to maintain the physicality or skill, but gosh, it’s worth it in the end.

“I love this game of golf and I love what I do and I love the challenge of playing against such great players.”

The Irish Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry finished fourth after 69 laps.

They were in no way inferior to Englishman Paul Casey, who scored consistently all week and scored his third 71 on Sunday, and American Harry Higgs.

Mickelson thrilled on the last day

It was one last pairing full of potential storylines: Mickelson wanted to be the oldest major championship winner, Koepka was looking for victory just two months after serious knee surgery.

In the end, it was Mickelson who controlled the narrative and held nerves in a tense final.

Koepka was eight months old when Mickelson won his first PGA Tour title as an amateur at the Northern Telecom Open in 1991. 13 years later, the American became a great champion for the first time with the first of his three Masters crowns.

He added at the 2005 PGA Championship and the 2013 Open, but the Kiawah Island win must be considered the most notable after being eliminated from the top 100 earlier this year for the first time since 1993.

Mickelson says he was trying to improve his focus and stay “present” by practicing meditation and other exercises to increase his focus, and he needed all of that serenity on a roller coaster front 9.

He started with a bogey and when Koepka rolled 12 feet in a birdie, a two-shot punch gave the 31-year-old the lead.

But a double bogey followed for Koepka as he tossed a chip off a bench behind the second green and then watched Mickelson join in before sinking a birdie putt to regain first place and gain a two-stroke advantage on the field achieve.

Phil MickelsonPhil Mickelson took his sixth major eight years after his fifth title

Mickelson held onto sole lead despite a three-foot bogey after two loose chips around the green, but only because Koepka missed a three-foot birdie.

And then a moment of the magic of the champion jumping in from the sand to fuck the par 3 fifth and driving the crowd almost insane on Kiawah Island.

Mickelson followed with a bogey and Koepka took advantage of it by backing off to send a catastrophic approach to the cart lane en route to another shot at seven as Mickelson paced up and down to find a birdie that made him clear again.

The veteran hit the corner with an intact two-stroke lead and increased it by four to four with a well-done birdie when Koepka found the sand and failed to recover.

The left-hander had a five-shot lead on the same stage on Saturday, only to see it evaporate over the next three holes, but not even a fan picking up his ball at 11 after an erratic drive could get him as Mickelson this time around troubled Par parte and Koepka had to drop five, which meant that Oosthuizen was once again his closest challenger.

After avoiding the water from the tee when he was 13, Mickelson found it as he approached the green and made bogies one after the other, although Oosthuizen dropped two shots at the same hole after finding the water too.

That meant that Mickelson led three punches and four punches to play.

Oosthuizen, whose only big win was at the 2010 Open, screwed 16th to keep the fight alive, but moments later Mickelson, who will turn 51 next month, hit the longest drive any player had that week the hole, about 366 yards, on its way to its own birdie.

Mickelson said he had fun this week, although the daunting par-3 17th wasn’t a pleasant one, but he could afford to drop a shot and go to the 18th with a two-stroke advantage.

Phil MickelsonUp to 10,000 fans were allowed on site on Kiawah Island every day

As his approach landed on the green, an exuberant crowd swarmed the fairway and Mickelson had to push through to reach the putting surface to finish off his historic win.

Koepka was disappointed with his putting on Saturday and also missed some close combat attempts in a final two-over-74 on Sunday.

He still had an outside chance of winning the tournament last but had to finish in the midst of Mickelson’s madness.

“It would have been cool if I hadn’t had a knee injury and fell on my knees a few times in that crowd,” said the four-time major champion, who took a few more minutes to make his way to the green .

“It’s cool for Phil. But getting dinged a few times isn’t exactly my idea of ​​fun.”

Harrington rolls back the years

Harrington and LowryHarrington and Lowry both scored 69 laps on the final day

An eagle at par-5 and a chip-in birdie on the 14th were the highlights of Ryder Cup European captain Harrington’s round as he rolled back in time to card a three-under-69 on Sunday and finishing fourth at two under par for a share.

This is the three-time major champion’s best result in a major since winning that event in 2008.

The 49-year-old had a great time with fellow countryman Lowry and the Open Champion also scored a 69 to go under two.

“I don’t think I enjoyed a round of golf as much as I did with Shane,” said Harrington.

“It was amazing how relaxed I was from tee to green. When you have your head in the right place, it’s a lot easier to play good golf. It was a very nice pairing.”

Casey also shared fourth place and briefly threatened to start an early run with two consecutive birdies on two and three, but a total of five birdies were offset by four bogeys when he finished four off the lead.

Justin Rose failed to break par for the first three days, but scored one of the rounds of the day with a five-under-67 win that included eight birdies, a bogey and a double to put the Englishman under him for the tournament to let.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy was unable to tame the Ocean Course as he did on his 2012 win.

Jordan Spieth’s waiting time to end the Grand Slam career continues after finishing one behind Japanese Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama with two above-average results, while US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau with one final day 77 to three above-average Values ​​fell off.

Jack

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