Phil Mickelson said he would “cherish forever” his extraordinary victory in the US PGA Championship after becoming the oldest major champion in history.
Mickelson held his nerve during a pulsating final round at Kiawah Island to win his sixth major title, 16 years on from lifting the Wanamaker Trophy for the first time.
The 50-year-old carded a closing 73 amid euphoric and somewhat chaotic scenes around the 18th green, finishing six under par and two shots ahead of Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen.
“I believed I had the ability to do it, I knew I could and I’ve been very frustrated,” said Mickelson, who had started the week ranked 115th in the world and a 280/1 outsider.
“With the help of my wife Amy, my brother Tim and my coach Andrew Getson, I’ve been able to get back to playing golf at the highest level and it’s so fulfilling and rewarding and this is a moment I will cherish forever.
“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.
“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 in the end, and I’m so appreciative to be holding this Wanamaker Trophy.”
What was the 2021 USPGA Championship payout?
Mickelson won a record $2.16m after claiming the title to add to his huge winnings over the years – the first time in the long and decorated history of the event that the winner has taken home more than $2million.
The PGA of America put up a record $12million prize fund. The winnings included:
1 Phil Mickelson $2,160,000
T2 Louis Oosthuizen $1,056,000
T2 Brooks Koepka $1,056,000
T4 Padraig Harrington $462,250
T4 Shane Lowry $462,250
T4 Harry Higgs $462,250
T4 Paul Casey $462,250
T8 Abraham Ancer $263,000
T8 Justin Rose $263,000
T8 Collin Morikawa $263,000
T8 Jon Rahm $263,000
T8 Scottish Scheffler $263,000
T8 Will Zalatoris $263,000
T8 Rickie Fowler $263,000
T8 Tony Finau $263,000
T8 Kevin Streelman $263,000
T17 Aaron Wise $168,000
T17 Patrick Reed $168,000
T17 Charley Hoffman $168,000
T17 Keegan Bradley $168,000
T17 Corey Conners $168,000
T17 Sungjae Im $168,000
T23 Chan Kim $100,814
T23 Jason Scrivener $100,814
T23 Hideki Matsuyama $100,814
T23 Martin Laird $100,814
T23 Billy Horschel $100,814
T23 Patrick Cantlay $100,814
T23 Matt Fitzpatrick $100,814
Phil Mickelson’s net worth and how it compares to Tiger Woods
Mickelson is the second richest golfer of all time, behind Tiger Woods.
‘Lefty’ has now made $94,611,711 in on-course earnings. That doesn't take into account his endorsement deals, which include partnerships with Amgen, Amstel Light, Callaway Golf, KPMG, Mizzen+Main, and Rolex, among others.
Mickelson is second on the all-time course earnings list. He's still about $25million behind Tiger Woods, who has taken home $120,851,706.
Woods is still recovering from a double leg break and other serious injuries caused in a car crash earlier this year.
Woods took to Twitter to congratulate his old rival on his victory. The two golfers have gone head to head on many occasions over the previous 25 years, with Woods having claimed 12 majors and Mickelson six.
Who are the oldest major winners in history?
Mickelson, just a month shy of his 51st birthday, entered the history books as the oldest winner of one of the four prestigious majors.
Here are the four next oldest winners:
Julius Boros, 1968 US PGA – 48 years, 4 months, 18 days
Tom Morris Senior, 1867 Open Championship – 46 years, 3 months, 9 days
Jack Nicklaus, 1986 Masters – 46 years, 2 months, 23 days
Jerry Barber, 1961 US PGA – 45 years, 3 months, 6 days
Hale Irwin, 1990 US Open – 45 years, 15 days