2021 PGA Championship: Phil Mickelson Creates History with Epic Win at Kiawah Island

by Evan Reier

Phil Mickelson wrote his name into the PGA record books yet again on Sunday with an age-defying win at Kiawah Island.

The 50-year-old golfing legend guided himself to his sixth major win on May 23, fending off a difficult course and a crowded field. He finished at six-under, ensuring a two-shot victory as Louis Oosthuizen and Brooks Koepka tied-for-second at four-under.

The PGA Championship victory means that Phil Mickelson is now the oldest major winner in PGA history. The previous record-holder was Julius Boros, who won the PGA Championship in 1968 at 48 years old.

It was a huge moment for the golfer as well as the sport, as Mickelson has been a fan favorite for nearly all of his career. His first major win since 2013 displayed he still has the mettle to win on golf’s biggest stages, even as he is now of age for the PGA Tour Champions, a tour for pros over the age of 50.

Phil Mickelson was paired up with Brooks Koepka, who won the PGA Championship in 2018 and 2019. The 31-year-old was one shot behind Mickelson, as they entered at seven-under and six-under respectively.

However, Koepka and the rest of the PGA field didn’t rise to the challenge of chasing down Mickelson. Koepka struggled with scoring for much of Sunday, as did Louis Oosthuizen.

Watch Phil Mickelson Embraces Victory at PGA Championship

One major reason that the win was dramatic was that Kiawah Island welcomed fans in great number. As did the 2021 Master Tournament, the final holes were covered with fans. It made for the perfect setting for a Phil Mickelson win, and a sign that normalcy in sports is returning.

After making a birdie on the Par 5 No. 16, the 50-year-old gave himself a three-shot lead and essentially locked up the win. Save for a disaster, Mickelson only had to stay steady as he headed toward the finish.

Mickelson did create some drama with a wayward tee shot on the 17th. However, he was able to get down in four shots for bogey, limiting the potential damage.

With a two-shot lead going into the final hole, Mickelson was able to savor the moment. Of course, fans let loose chants and cheers as he made his way down the beautiful setting at Kiawah Island.

It almost got out of hand, but it made for a legendary view as fans clamored to circle the green.

Mickelson fired off an impressive iron shot out of the rough on the 18th, leaving himself just 10-15 feet. From there, it was all but assured with a two-putt.