By winning at 50, Mickelson surpassed the record previously held by Julius Boros, who won the PGA Championship in 1968 at 48.
The victory is the sixth major title in Mickelson’s long and successful career, with his previous PGA Championship taking place 16 years ago in 2005.
With his brother, Tim, as a youngest, Mickelson was able to complete a remarkable comeback story, one that he hopes will inspire others.
“It’s just an amazing feeling because I believed it was possible but yet everything said it wasn’t. I hope others will find this inspiration,” he said during his post-tour conference.
“It may take a little extra work, a little harder effort to physically maintain or maintain the skills, but gosh, it’s worth it in the end, and I’m so grateful to hold this Wanamaker Trophy.”
The way to victory
Heading into the final day with Mickelson just one stroke ahead of Koepka, the competition tightened even further in the opening holes of Sunday’s round.
And a bogey for Mickelson and a birdie for Koepka on the opening hole tied the scores, with 17 holes between the pair and the famous Wanamaker Trophy.
The pair went back and forth, trading birdies, pars, bogeys and the odd double bogey, over the first four holes, with little to separate the pair.
But the Mickelson magic that fans have grown to love over the course of his career really started to emerge on the par-threes fifth hole.
In a bunker next to his tee shot, the American golfer stepped into the hole, sending spectators in rapture and giving them reason to believe history might be being made.
And after a buggy on the sixth, Mickelson’s resolve seemed to strengthen, and he looked like he was having the best time of his life.
As Koepka’s confidence seemed to drip hole by hole, Mickelson only got better, shooting two birdies and picking up pars on the next six holes.
There was still time for Mickelson, his second hit on the 13th falling into the water. However, after some stray shots from Koepka, he wasn’t forced to pay the price with the two players bogeying the hole.
At the next hole, Mickelson’s tee shot left him with a trick chip on the green. And it cost him, as he recorded consecutive bogeys, reducing the gap between him and Oosthuizen to just three.
And just when all the pressure was on – in the front group, Oosthuizen’s birdie reduced the lead to two shots – Mickelson produced a 366-yard drive on the 16th hole, the longest drive on that hole. by a player all week.
The result was a birdie of the utmost importance, once again extending his lead to three shots, which was nervously reduced to two moments later.
In an astonishing scene on the last hole, however, surrounded by thousands of fans and bathed in sunshine, Mickelson made his name in the history books.
For Koepka, who was chasing his third PGA Championship title in four years, struggling with his putter was the deciding factor that held him back.
And although he pushed Mickelson to the end, the four-time major winner described being “super disappointed” and “quite disappointed” in the immediate moments after the final round.
“I’m not happy. I don’t know if there’s a right word I can say here without being fined, but it hurts a bit,” he told the media during his speech. post-tour press conference.
“It’s one of those things where I never felt comfortable on the putts. I don’t know why, what happened.”
The story of Mickelson’s victory – and his age – already resonates with many.
Before the PGA Championship, Mickelson was quite possibly a long way off people’s favorites to win.
After the first round he was among the leaders, just three shots behind Corey Conners in the lead.
But he took action after that, finishing Friday and Saturday atop the standings.
By winning at 50, he breaks Boros’ record of 48 years, 4 months, 18 days as the oldest major winner in golf history. Golf legend Jack Nicklaus won his last major tournament at 46.
And before Sunday’s victory, he had won just twice on the PGA Tour since his last major victory in 2013 as well as two PGA Tour Champions wins in 2020.
By winning, Mickelson became the fourth golfer in PGA Tour history to win in four different decades. He joins Sam Snead, Raymond Floyd and Davis Love III.
After his record-breaking feat, Mickelson’s brother Tim – whom Phil acknowledged for helping him have fun this week – said keeping him relaxed was key to his success.
“I just told him to stop overthinking. When he got ahead, I reminded him, ‘Hey, we’ll worry about that when we’re over there,’ he said during his press conference. “A few stories here and there. Maybe one or two could have been invented, who knows? But whatever I can do so that he doesn’t think about the shot that’s coming when it’s not even our turn to strike. “