Oldest Major Championship Winners in Men's Golf

Who is the oldest major championship winner in golf? Has anyone aged 50 and over won one of the men's majors? The answer to the second question was no — until 2021, when, for the first time ever, a golfer 50 or older did win a major. That golfer was nearly 51, in fact, and broke this record that had stood since 1968.

The Record-Holder: Phil Mickelson, 50 Years Old

Prior to Phil Mickelson's win in the 2021 PGA Championship, no golfer older than 48 (and only one older than 46) had won one of the major championships in men's golf. Julius Boros was the 48-year-old who won the PGA Championship in 1968. Playing at The Ocean Course in South Carolina, Mickelson, a few weeks shy of his 51st birthday, finally bettered Boros' old record.

Mickelson, who hadn't won a major since 2013 or a PGA Tour event since 2019, took a share of the lead after the second round. After the third round, he held a one-stroke lead. And after the final round, Mickelson had a two-stroke victory over runners-up Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen.

It was the sixth career win in a major championship for Mickelson, and the 45th career win of his PGA Tour career. At nearly 51 years old, Mickelson already had two wins on the Champions Tour (for golfers 50 and over) by the time of his victory in the 2021 PGA Championship.

The List: Oldest Major Championship Winners

These are the 11 oldest winners of men's golf majors:
  • Phil Mickelson: 2021 PGA Championship, 50 years, 11 months, 7 days
  • Julius Boros: 1968 PGA Championship, 48 years, 4 months, 18 days. Boros carded a 69 in a final round remembered for brutal heat, and won the tournament when Arnold Palmer missed an 8-foot putt to tie on the final hole. Boros held this record for 53 years, until Mickelson beat it in 2021.
  • Old Tom Morris: 1867 British Open, 46 years, 99 days. This was the eighth time the Open Championship was played, and the fourth time Old Tom won it. He beat his great rival Willie Park Sr. by two strokes.
  • Jack Nicklaus: 1986 Masters, 46 years, 2 months, 23 days. Perhaps the most famous win in golf history. Nicklaus won his 18th major title by shooting 30 on the back nine in the final round, including an eagle at No. 15 and birdies at 13, 16 and 17.
  • Jerry Barber: 1961 PGA Championship, 45 Years, 3 months, 6 days. Jerry Barber made putts of 20, 40 and 60 feet on the final three holes, then beat Don January in a playoff.
  • Hale Irwin: 1990 U.S. Open, 45 years, 15 days old. Irwin made a 45-foot birdie on the 72nd hole, then faced Mike Donald an in 18-hole playoff. Still tied after 18, they went into sudden death and Irwin won it on the first hole.
  • Lee Trevino: 1984 PGA Championship, 44 years, 8 months, 18 days. Trevino carded four rounds in the 60s to win by four strokes over the even-older Gary Player (plus Lanny Wadkins).
  • Roberto de Vicenzo: 1967 British Open, 44 years, 93 days. A year before the infamous scorecard snafu at the 1968 Masters, De Vicenzo beat runner-up Nicklaus by two to claim his only major championship title.
  • Harry Vardon: 1914 British Open, 44 years, 41 days. Vardon won a sixth Open Championship, still the record today, by three strokes over runner-up J.H. Taylor.
  • Raymond Floyd: 1986 U.S. Open, 43 years, 9 months, 11 days. Floyd won by two strokes over Chip Beck and Lanny Wadkins. It was his fourth and final win in a major.
  • Ted Ray: 1920 U.S. Open, 43 years, 4 months, 16 days old. In the 1913 U.S. Open, Ray and Harry Vardon lost in a playoff to Francis Ouimet. In 1920, 50-year-old Vardon blew a five-shot lead with five holes to play, opening the way for 43-year-old Ray's one-stroke win.
Note that all four of the men's majors are represented in the Top 11. Mickelson is the oldest PGA Championship winner; Old Tom Morris holds the British Open record; Nicklaus is the oldest Masters winner; and Irwin is the oldest U.S. Open champion.

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