© Reuters. May 23, 2021; Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA; Phil Mickelson wins the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
By Andrew Both
KIAWAH ISLAND, SC (Reuters) -Phil Mickelson turned back the clock to claim a 2-shot win over Brooks Koepka and South African Louis Oosthuizen, and the oldest big winner in history at the age of, in Sunday’s PGA Championship 50 years to be.
Mickelson, who started the day with a one-shot lead over Koepka, put the finishing touches on one of the most formidable feats in golf with a one-over-par 73 on the Ocean Course that left him at 6 a.m. that week .
When Mickelson’s approach shot safely found the green on the last hole, a wild scene ensued as enthusiastic fans followed one of the greats of the game on the fairway and completely enveloped him in a furious swarm.
Security officials eventually had to step in to provide Mickelson with a narrow path to navigate forward, where he did two puttings from a height of 4.9 meters to ensure victory.
“It’s just an incredible feeling because I just believed it was possible, but everything said it wasn’t possible,” said Mickelson, who is now the only player to have between his first and last PGA Tour Victory has passed 30 years.
“And I hope others find that inspiration. It might take a little extra work, a little harder to maintain yourself physically, or maintain the skills, but, my gosh, it’s worth it.”
With the sixth major of his career and the first since the 2013 British Open, Mickelson surpassed Julius Boros, who was 48 when he won the PGA Championship in 1968, as the oldest big winner.
After an eventful Front 9 that caused twists and turns at seemingly every hole, it was fan favorite Mickelson who cleared two shots and absorbed the energy of the limited viewers who participated in the second major of the year.
Mickelson made a three-shot lead after a birdie on the par-4 10-course and the final stretch was more of a culmination than an aerial battle as four-time Major Champion Koepka and 2010 British Open winner Oosthuizen ran out of holes .
Mickelson, who was leading with five strokes and six holes, saw his lead reduced to two strokes after bogeys on the 13th and 14th, compounded by a birdie on the 16th from Oosthuizen, who played in the penultimate pairing.
“I tried to be as aggressive as possible without doing stupid things,” said Oosthuizen, who did well, even after a double bogey on par-4 13, where his third shot landed in the water. return to the mix again.
“I felt like I had to be aggressive to maybe give myself a 15-foot par and just caught it off my heel and when it’s this windy in crosswinds you know the wind is blowing it into the water will bring. “”
With victory in sight, an unwavering Mickelson showed great determination and even gave the crowd a thumbs up as he recaptured a three-shot pillow with a birdie on the 16th before a bogey par finish.
“Really inspiring to see @PhilMickelson doing it again at the age of 50. Congratulations !!!!!!!” wrote 15-time major champion Tiger Woods, who was at home from serious leg injuries in a car accident Has recovered in February on Twitter.
Oosthuizen (73) and Koepka (74) took second place, while the European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington (69), the Irishman Shane Lowry (69), the Englishman Paul Casey (71) and Harry Higgs (70) another two were shoots back to fourth place.
Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who won the 2012 PGA Championship on Kiawah Island and was a favorite this week, finished with a straight par 72, leaving him five over par.