Phil Mickelson Wins the PGA Championship

When an amazing sports moment occurs we are reminded of some moments that have come before it. In this case, when Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship on Sunday, I was reminded of Buster Douglas over Tyson, Giants over undefeated Patriots, 1980 Miracle on Ice and the 88′ Dodgers over the Bash Brother Athletics, John Daly at Crooked Stick and the NC State Wolfpack led by Jimmy V. Phil Mickelson pulled the ultimate upset and defied the odds by becoming the oldest golfer in the history of the sport to with a major, surpassing Jack Nicklaus and Old Tom Morris who won majors in their 40’s, Phil Mickelson is 50 years old, an achievement that most golf talking heads never thought would happen.

I am a Phil Mickelson fan, along with Arnold Palmer and John Daly, Lefty is my favorite golfer. I realize that the course on Sunday might have made it easier on lefty players, I realize that Koepka was dealing with injuries and the play on Sunday was more about surviving than dominating the course, but that’s the beauty of golf. Phil withstood the pressure, the history and the younger players chasing him down in the leaderboard, he was truly a champion on Sunday.

Phil has always been a fan of the people and there are countless examples of Phil being friendly with the fans and it showed as he walked down the fairway on the 18th hole after his approach shot, knowing that he had the tournament secured. The fans swarmed Phil and were wildly applauding chanting his name and showing him how much they appreciated his contributions to the game of golf.

I have seen comparisons between what Phil did on Sunday compared to Tiger Woods winning the 2019 Master’s Tournament but to me these aren’t comparable. What Tiger did was remarkable because of the adversity he faced with his injuries and his personal life, that was a return to glory as Jim Nantz so eloquently put it when he made that final putt, but Tiger was playing good golf leading into that tournament and contended at Majors the year before, this wasn’t the case for Phil. This was out of nowhere, this was the crafty veteran finding a way to wake up the echoes of years past and reign supreme for one shining moment on one of the biggest stages in the sport, the PGA Championship.

To me, Phil is the second greatest golfer of his generation, behind the one and only Tiger Woods but the fact of the matter is that Phil has never been the number one player in the world, he was the number two player in the world for the longest amount of time in the history of the sport, he had five major titles going into Sunday which is impressive but not amongst the all time legends. When Phil secured his sixth major it gave him a spot in history, the oldest player to ever win a major, that is historic, that is going to be a feat that will be tough to top, unless perhaps Phil has another moment in the sun at a major, the odds are slim but he is in shape and now on top of the golf world.

Phil has won the Master’s three times, the PGA twice and the Open one time, the only major that escapes him is the coveted U.S. Open that Phil has finished in second place a total of SIX times in his career and a couple of times he lost in historic fashion, most notably at Winged Foot. With the win at the PGA Championship Phil automatically qualifies for the U.S. Open for the next five years, I think that was extremely important to Phil, he now will have an opportunity for the next half a decade to hunt down the U.S. Open title while he splits time between the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour. Phil already has a lifetime exemption for the Master’s, Open Championship and the PGA Championship, this win also made Phil $2.16 million richer, not too shabby.

Perhaps we saw Phil win his final major and maybe even his final PGA Tour victory, if that’s the case, it was a cherry on top of a Hall of Fame career, a moment that all golf fans will remember forever and tell future generations of golf fan. I personally don’t think we have seen the end of Phil hoisting trophies, I think there is still some great moments left in the tank for Phil the Thrill.