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Lefty closes in on history

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The PGA Championship is Phil Mickelson’s for the taking. The soon-to-be 51-year-old enters Sunday’s final round with a one-stroke lead over Brooks Koepka in the year’s second Major. Lefty’s lead was five shots at one point Saturday. A victory would make him the oldest golfer to win one of golf’s Major events. Who are some of the elders before Lefty?

Ted Ray: 1920 U.S. Open

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Ted Ray won the 1920 U.S. Open as 50-year-old Harry Vardon fell apart down the stretch at Inverness. Vardon, the champion in 1900, held a five-stroke lead with just five holes to play. He proceeded to three-putt three holes in a row, then double-bogeyed the 17th after finding the water. He shot 42 (+6) on the second nine, giving him a 78 (+7) for the round and 296 total (+12), and finished in a tie for second, one stroke back. Ray shot 75 and won $500 for his 11-over-par effort at 43 years, 4 months, and 16 days of age.

Raymond Floyd: 1986 U.S. Open

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The 1986 U.S. Open was the 86th U.S. Open, held at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Shinnecock Hills, New York. Raymond Floyd won his fourth and final major, two strokes ahead of runners-up Chip Beck and Lanny Wadkins. It was Floyd’s only U.S. Open title and he became its oldest winner, a record he held for four years. Floyd became the oldest winner of the U.S. Open at 43 years and 284 days,surpassing Ray.

Harry Vardon: 1914 Open Championship

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Harry Vardon won a record sixth Open Championship title, three strokes ahead of runner-up J.H. Taylor, the defending champion. Vardon was 44 years, 1 month, and 10 days.

Roberto De Vincenzo: 1967 Open Championship

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Roberto De Vicenzo, 44, won his only major championship, two strokes ahead of runner-up and defending champion Jack Nicklaus. He was 44 years, 3 months, and 1 day old.

Lee Trevino: 1984 PGA Championship


Lee Trevino shot four rounds in the 60s to win his second PGA Championship and sixth and final major title, four strokes ahead of runners-up Gary Player and Lanny Wadkins. The tournament took place at Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club. Trevino was 44 years, 8 months, 18 days old.

Hale Irwin: 1990 U.S. Open Championship


The 1990 U.S. Open was the 90th U.S. Open, held at Course No. 3 of Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois, a suburb northwest of Chicago. Hale Irwin became the oldest U.S. Open champion by defeating Mike Donald at the 91st hole, the first in sudden death, after the two tied in the 18-hole Monday playoff. At 45 years and 15 days, Irwin became the oldest winner of the U.S. Open, surpassing the record set in 1986 by Raymond Floyd by 15 months.

Jerry Barber: 1961 PGA Championship

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Jerry Barber (far left) won the 1961 PGA Championship at 45 years, 3 months, and 6 days of age. The 43rd PGA Championship was played at the North Course of Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois, a suburb south of Chicago. Barber won his only major title in an 18-hole Monday playoff by one stroke over Don January, 67 to 68.

Jack Nicklaus: 1986 Masters

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The Golden Bear was 46 years, 2 months, 23 days of age when he won the Masters in 1986. Nicklaus won his record 18th professional major with a historic one-stroke victory. He shot a final-round 65 (−7), with a back nine of 30 (−6), for a total score of 279 (−9).

Tom Morris Sr.: 1867 Open Championship

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Tom Morris, Sr. won the championship for the fourth time, by two shots from Willie Park, Sr. Morris, Sr. was 46 years, 3 months and 10 days old and remains the oldest Open Championship winner.

Julius Boros: 1968 PGA Championship

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The 1968 PGA Championship was played at Pecan Valley Golf Club in San Antonio, Texas. Julius Boros, age 48, 4 months and 18 days, won the third of his three major titles, one stroke ahead of runners-up Bob Charles and Arnold Palmer. Palmer had an 8-foot putt to tie on the 72nd green, but it missed on the high side of the hole. It was the second of his three runner-up finishes at the only major he never won; he also tied for second in 1964 and 1970