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The Telegraph

Phil Mickelson makes golfing history by winning USPGA Championship aged 50

The oldest winner of a major might just be the boldest as well. Certainly Phil Mickelson deserves each and every compliment that will be joyously hurled in his direction after a stunning victory in the US PGA Championship that was as dramatic as it was historic. The left-hander is 51 next month. Repeat that: he is 51 next month. And he did not simply beat Julius Boros’s record as the oldest ever – he smashed it by almost three years. He was regarded as an all-time great anyway, but as he joins the likes of Sir Nick Faldo on six majors, Mickelson’s time-machine act has transported him to a new level on the pantheon. With The Ocean Course at its wicked best – tease ‘em and squeeze ‘em – Mickelson just kept on swinging until his younger rivals were in submission. As he did so – beating fellow American Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen by two shots – the South Carolina crowd created golf noises unheard and scenes unseen since before the pandemic and back to Tiger Woods’s own comeback glory at the 2019 Masters. The fans felt released, no longer confined to their covid shackles, and invaded the 18th fairway, flocking behind him, and some in front, following their hero up to the last green like The Opens of yore. Dangerous? Yes. Appropriate? Completely. When it was confirmed and pandemonium was breaking out all over this barrier island, Mickelson hugged his brother/caddie Tim. “I don’t think I’ve ever had an experience like that, so thank you,” Mickelson said at the trophy presentation. “Slightly unnerving, but exceptionally awesome. This is just an incredible feeling because I just believed that it was possible but yet everything was saying it wasn’t. I hope that others find that inspiration.”