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Phil Mickelson — fabulous at fifty

Frenzied swarm: Phil Mickelson is shepherded through a throng of fans by security personnel after his victory.  

Phil Mickelson blocked out the distractions and kept his mind quiet in front of a raucous gallery to win the PGA Championship by two strokes on Sunday and become golf’s oldest Major winner at the age of 50.

Mickelson battled through strong winds, shrugged off a few poor shots and kept calm amid suffocating pressure to record a one-over-par 73 at the Ocean Course, holding his nerve with Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen breathing down his neck.

In collecting the sixth Major of his career, and first since the 2013 British Open, Mickelson surpassed Julius Boros as the oldest Major winner. Boros was 48 when he won the 1968 PGA Championship.

“This is just an incredible feeling because I just believed that it was possible but yet everything was saying it wasn’t,” said Mickelson, who is now the only player to have claimed PGA Tour victories 30 years apart.

“And I hope that others find that inspiration.

“It might take a little extra work, a little bit harder effort to maintain physically or maintain the skills but, gosh, is it worth it.”

When Mickelson’s approach shot safely found the green at the final hole a wild scene ensued as fans raced to follow one of the game’s all-time greats up the fairway and completely enveloped him in a frenzied swarm.

Mickelson, who also won the tournament in 2005, later acknowledged he had been a little unnerved by the experience, while fellow competitor Brooks Koepka said he was “dinged” by spectators in the crush.

Mickelson’s great rival Tiger Woods was quick to congratulate him.

‘Truly inspirational’

“Truly inspirational to see @PhilMickelson do it again at 50 years of age. Congrats!!!!!!!,” the 15-time Major champion tweeted.

Oosthuizen (73) and Koepka (74) finished in a share of second place while European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington (69), Ireland’s Shane Lowry (69), Englishman Paul Casey (71) and Harry Higgs (70) were a further two shots back in fourth place.

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 1:44:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/phil-mickelson-fabulous-at-fifty/article34636855.ece

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