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Golden moment: Phil Mickelson wins PGA, makes history

May 23, 2021; Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA; Phil Mickelson gives a thumbs up to the fans while walking on the 2nd hole fairway during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Mickelson became the oldest golfer to win a major championship, shooting a final-round, 1-over-par 73 to capture the PGA Championship by two shots Sunday at The Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, S.C.

At 50 years, 11 months and 3 days old, Mickelson wiped out the mark of oldest winner of a major that was set by Julius Boros, then 48, in the 1968 PGA Championship. Mickelson will turn 51 on June 16.

Mickelson earned his sixth major title, a list that also includes the 2005 PGA Championship. His most recent victory in a major was the 2013 British Open.

His final score of 6-under 282 marks an improbable result.

Mickelson, who had been atop the leaderboard in some fashion since Friday, briefly lost the lead near the beginning of the last round. But Brooks Koepka, who had taken the lead, took a dip, eventually going through a seven-hole stretch at 4 over.

Mickelson’s lead over South African Louis Oosthuizen shrunk to two strokes before a birdie on No. 16. A bogey on the next hole kept up the suspense.

Koepka (74), the tournament’s winner in 2018 and 2019, and Oosthuizen (73) shared second place at 4 under.

Koepka held the lead after the first hole with his birdie and Mickelson’s bogey. But a double-bogey on the par-5 second hole reversed the order, a strange twist given Koepka’s strong showing on par-5 holes during the tournament.

Shane Lowry (69) and Padraig Harrington (69), both from Ireland, tied for fourth place at 2 under with Harry Higgs (70) and England’s Paul Casey (71).

Abraham Ancer of Mexico shot 65 for the best round of the tournament. He finished at 1 under in a tie for eighth place.

Other results of note were turned in by defending champion Collin Morikawa (68) and Masters runner-up Will Zalatoris (70). They were among a cluster of nine golfers tied for eighth.

Reigning U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau had his worst round of the tournament with a 77, falling to a tie for 38th at 3 over.

Mickelson’s best 2021 finish entering this week was a tie for 21st at the Masters in April.

Mickelson now has won 45 times on the PGA Tour. This was his first win since the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2019.

–Field Level Media