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Left handers have historically been a rarity in golf – particularly in the good old days. That was generally down to a lack of equipment. But who are the left-handed golfers to win a major?
Just four ‘southpaw’ golfers have won a major championship, combining to win 10 of golf’s biggest prizes:
- Bob Charles (1963 Open Championship, Royal Lytham & St Annes)
- Mike Weir (2003 Masters, Augusta National)
- Phil Mickelson (2004 Masters, Augusta National)
- Phil Mickelson (2005 PGA Championship, Baltusrol)
- Phil Mickelson (2006 Masters, Augusta National)
- Phil Mickelson (2010 Masters, Augusta National)
- Bubba Watson (2012 Masters, Augusta National)
- Phil Mickelson (2013 Open Championship, Muirfield)
- Bubba Watson (2014 Masters, Augusta National)
- Phil Mickelson (2021 PGA Championship, Kiawah Island)
- Brian Harman (2023 Open Championship, Royal Liverpool)
New Zealander Bob Charles was the first left-handed major winner in 1963, and we had to wait until 2003 for a second, when Mike Weir slipped into the Green Jacket. It means we had just one left-handed champion in 142 years of major championship golf!
While Charles won 80 times as a professional, just six of these came on the PGA Tour, including his triumph at Royal Lytham & St Annes. Mickelson has fewer victories, with 57, 45 were on the American circuit, including his six majors, making him undoubtedly the best left-handed player to ever pick up a golf club – a stat made even more remarkable when you consider the fact he’s only left-handed because, as a junior, he would stand opposite his father and mirror his swing.
As for the tournaments, the US Open remains the only major yet to be won by a left-hander golfer, though Mickelson does have a small claim to fame in that he has a record six runner-up finishes in his national championship. The most famous of those, of course, was when he was stood on the 18th tee at Winged Foot in 2006 needing a par to win the trophy he craved more than any other, only to blow up with a double bogey and hand the title to Geoff Ogilvy.
Other than Mickelson, Watson and newly-crowned Champion Golfer of the Year Brian Harman, the current crop of left-handers looking to add to that list include Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre and South African Garrick Higgo.
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