Gary Woodland fades to final day of PGA Championship as Phil Mickelson becomes golf’s longest-serving major champion | Tale of Tait

Gary Woodland walks out of a bunker for the fourth green during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament on the Ocean Course, Sunday May 23, 2021, in Kiawah Island, SC

by AP Photo / Matt York

Former KU golf star Gary Woodland’s bid for the 2021 PGA championship crown ran out of steam on Sunday when Woodland pulled a par 77 of 5 on the final round.

Sitting tied for the seventh entry in Sunday’s round, Woodland needed a low round and a little help to try to win the title. Instead, he got a round that included two double bogeys and three bogeys to knock him down to tie for 38th in the final standings at +3 for the tournament.

Woodland’s fourth round opened with promise. After equalizing his first hole, he recorded birdies at holes 2 and 3 to go to 4 under for the tournament.

But a double bogey at the 7th par 5, back-to-back bogeys and 9s and 10s and another double bogey at # 11 got him out of the race.

Woodland finished with a fourth round 77 that left him nine strokes behind 2021 champion Phil Mickelson, who became the oldest major champion in PGA Tour history at 50.

Woodland’s performance this weekend earned him $ 42,000

The next stop on the PGA Tour is the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. Woodland finished ninth in the event in 2020.

As for the 2021 champion, Mickelson has delivered so much thrill and excitement in 30 years of pure theater that no one ever knows what he’ll do next.

His last act was a real stunner: a great champion at 50 years old.

Mickelson won his sixth major and by far the most surprising on Sunday at the PGA Championship. He made two first birdies with that magical wedge play and let a group of suitors fall too far to catch him in the shifting wind of Kiawah Island.

He finished with a 1 of 73, building a five-stroke lead over the back nine and not making any critical mistakes that kept him out of his place in history.

“It’s just an amazing feeling because I believed it was possible, but everything said it wasn’t,” said Mickelson, who had been gone more than two years since his last win and hadn’t won a major for nearly. eight years old. He hadn’t even fought in a major in five years.

Julius Boros held the distinction of oldest major golf champion for 53 years. He was 48 when he won the 1968 PGA Championship in San Antonio.

Pure chaos erupted along the 18th hole after Mickelson hit the 9 iron safely just outside 15 feet, which practically earned an unlikely victory. Thousands of fans engulfed him down the fairway – a scene typically seen only at the British Open – until Mickelson appeared with a thumbs-up.

This has been perhaps the strongest pressure he has faced in the last nine games of the Ocean Course.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had such an experience, so thank you for that,” Mickelson said at the trophy ceremony. “Slightly annoying, but exceptionally awesome.”

Just like he plays the game.

Songs of “Lefty! Lefty! Lefty!” chased him on the green and in the scoring tent, his last one-week assignment he won’t soon forget.

Three months after Tom Brady, 43, won a seventh Super Bowl, Mickelson has added ageless wonders to this year. Mickelson became the first player in PGA Tour history to win tournaments 30 years apart. The first of his 45 titles dates back to 1991 when he was still a junior at Arizona State.

Mickelson became the 10th player to win major tournaments in three decades, an elite roster that begins with Harry Vardon and was recently completed by Tiger Woods.

“He’s been on tour since I’ve been alive,” Jon Rahm said. “For him, to keep this will to play, to compete and to train, it is really admirable.”

Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen had their chances, but briefly. Koepka had 4 points on par 5 while play was still in progress and finished with a 74. Oosthuizen hit in the water as he tried to make one last run and shot 73.

“Phil played really well,” said Koepka. “Pretty cool to see, but a little disappointed in myself.”

Mickelson finished 6 under 282.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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