'Oh my gracious': Golf world explodes over Phil Mickelson miracle
Phil Mickelson has defied the odds and become the oldest major champion ever after holding off rivals in a dramatic finish to the 103rd US PGA Championship.
The 50-year-old started Sunday with a one-shot lead at Kiawah Island's windswept Ocean Course and despite three bogeys in his opening seven holes, before he produced three stunning birdies to offset them.
'CAN'T BELIEVE IT': Beloved golf course destroyed by vandal
'MONEY GRAB': Outrage over PGA's move for social media stars
But Mickelson held off a nervy Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen to raise his hands in triumph and claim his sixth major championship.
Mickelson, who last won the PGA Championship in 2005, surpassed Julius Boros as the oldest major winner after he claimed his sixth major.
Boros won the 1968 PGA Championship at age 48.
Fans across the world lauded Mickelson's miracle with fans flocking to his side after the win, which the commentators described as 'pure bedlam'.
That’s my quarterback!!! LFG @PhilMickelson!! https://t.co/VkfoZY1mDw
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) May 23, 2021
Lefty’s legacy continues.
50-year-old @PhilMickelson has won the #PGAChamp
He’s the oldest winner in major championship history. pic.twitter.com/QsPy1kRH3i
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 23, 2021
It’s Mickelson’s moment.🏆
50-year-old @PhilMickelson makes history at the the @PGAChampionship, becoming the oldest major champion. pic.twitter.com/5mLDCCHzVh
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) May 23, 2021
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) May 23, 2021
This really is a win for the ages - the oldest golfer to ever win a major. There is nothing like golf! Congrats @PhilMickelson #history #PGAChampionship
— Luke Donald (@LukeDonald) May 23, 2021
Phil Mickelson, what a legend. There has always been a "man of people" vibe that no other pro golfer can match.
If golf gods exist, he will win a U.S. Open and complete the career Grand Slam. Don't shut that door! #PGAChamp https://t.co/5HPUFTSJyp
— Jeff D Miami Vice (@JeffDLowe) May 23, 2021
That was a little frightening. They needed better crowd control.
— Dawn Robinette (@dawngator5220) May 23, 2021
Mickelson holds off Koepka in thrilling final round
The veteran's day took off after an incredible shot that energised the swarming galleries, and his own energy, on the par-three 5th.
"Oh my gracious," one commentator said.
“That was just inexplicable,” another added.
After his tee shot landed in a sandy waste area the short game wizard holed out his next shot for birdie.
When he birdied the 10th hole Mickelson was four-shots clear of the challengers and while South African Oosthuizen pulled within three with a birdie on the 12th hole, he dropped back with a double bogey a hole later.
"OH MY GRACIOUS!"
PHIL JUST DID THAT. pic.twitter.com/wA3hu2cNxG
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) May 23, 2021
Mickelson finished with a final round of 73.
Koepka has won two of the past three PGA Championships, failed to chase history of his own as he vies to be just the sixth player with three or more Wanamaker trophies, joining Walter Hagen (5), Jack Nicklaus (5), Tiger Woods (4), Gene Sarazen (3) and Sam Snead (3).
Mickelson is a six-time major winner after three Masters win (2004, 2006 and 2010), the PGA Championship in 2005 and the Open Championship in 2013.
Fans erupted after his victory, which resulted in Koepka needing security to get through the bustling crowd to finish his game.
Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.