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Phil: The Best 50-and-older performances in major championships

The story of this year’s Masters has to be Phil Mickelson finishing T2 at the age of 52. Once again Phil has shown he’s still dangerous in a major after taking down the PGA championship at the age of 50 years, 11 months, and 7 days. Golf of course of all the major sports is one that lends itself to older players competing. Tom Watson nearly won the Open at the age of 59. Jack Nicklaus finished T6 in at the age of 58 years old. That week he outplayed Tiger Woods the year after he destroyed the field by 12 strokes and won his first Masters.

That’s one of the beauty of golf in my opinion. The fact is players who have seen their best years pass decades ago can find it still for 4 days. This Masters also saw Fred Couples become the oldest man to ever make the cut at Augusta at the age of 63. It was just a little over a decade ago that Couples finished T6 at the age of 51 and then followed that up the next 4 seasons with a T15, T12, T13, and a T20.

Sam Sneed once finished T3 at the PGA championship at the age of 62. Greg Norman finished T3 at the Open at the age of 53. Tommy Bolt finished 3rd at the age of 54 in a PGA championship. Miguel Angel Jimenez notched his best-ever Master finish, at T4, at the age of 50. Raymond Floyd also at the age of 50 had a T7 finish at the US Open.

So how long can we expect Phil to be dangerous for a high finish? Up until 2021 Phil was still in the top quarter of players in driving distance on the PGA tour. That will certainly keep him live to win. Had he not had the LIV distraction the last year weighing on him I don’t think his for would have been as poor. He still clearly has some game and can put it together for 4 days. It will be very interesting to see what he does in the next few majors. Sam Sneed made the cut at the PGA Championship at 67 years old.

Who would have honestly thought in 2010 when Phil Mickelson was diagnosed with arthritis and fluctuated in and out of shape even then that he would be capable of playing like this in his 50’s. Simply amazing, and it can’t even be called a fluke at this point when he’s had two top 2 finishes after 50 in his last 5 majors.

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