Julius Boros (1920 – 1994) currently holds the record as the oldest major championship winner. Boros won the 1968 PGA Championship at age 48.
As you might expect, Boros came to golf relatively late in life. Boros played baseball in college and started a career as an accountant. After playing well as an amateur, he turned pro at the age of 29.
Boros won his first professional tournament — the 1952 US Open — at age 32. It was a four stroke victory over Ed Oliver. That year, he was named PGA Player of the Year.
Boros won the US Open again in 1963 at age 43, over Jacky Cupit and Arnold Palmer in an 18 hole playoff. In 1963, he was again named PGA Player of the Year.
Julius Boros was a member of the 959, 1963, 1965 and 1967 Ryder Cup Teams.
He again won the US Open in 1963, at the age of 43, defeating Jacky Cupit and Arnold Palmer in an 18-hole play-off after all had tied after 72 holes at a hefty nine over par.
When Boros won the 1968 PGA Championship he became the oldest Major winner.
That PGA Championship was also his last TOUR victory. He came close again, however. At age 53, he tied for the lead at the US Open with 10 holes to play. He finished 7th. And, at age 55, he lost a playoff at the 1975 Westchester Classic.
Throughout his career, Boros was known for his quick play and relaxed swing. “Swing easy, hit hard” was his catchphrase.
Ultimately, Boros won 18 times on the PGA TOUR. He was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1982.
Fittingly, Julius Boros died on a golf course. Members of the Fort Lauderdale Country Club found him sitting in a golf cart under a willow tree on the 16th hole.
Here are some of the other golfers who won Majors in their forties:
Jack Nicklaus won the 1986 Masters at age 46, 2 months, 23 days.
Old Tom Morris won the 1867 Open Championship at age 46,
Jerry Barber won the 1961 PGA Championship at age 45, 3 months, 6 days.
Hale Irwin was 45 years, 15 days old when he won the 1990 US Open.
Lee Trevino was 44 years, 8 months, 18 days old when he won the 1984 US Open.
Roberto de Vicenzo won the 1967 British Open at 44 years, 93 days.
Harry Vardon was 44 years, 41 days old when he won the 1914 British Open.
Ray Floyd won the 1986 US Open at age 43 years, 9 months, 11 days.
And finally Ted Ray won the 1920 US Open at 43 years, 4 months 16 days.
Sam Snead, at age 52 is the oldest to have won on the PGA TOUR. In 1965 he won the Greater Greensboro Open.
Considering the way he still is playing, Phil Mickelson may very well end up being one of the oldest golfers to win a major.