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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!

Bob Charles

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.

• The 7 amateur golfers who won a major championship

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.

author headshot

Alex Perry is the Associate Editor of bunkered. A journalist for more than 20 years, he has been a golf industry stalwart for the majority of his career and, in a five-year spell at ESPN, covered every sporting event you can think of. He completed his own Grand Slam at the 2023 Masters, having fallen in love with the sport at his hometown club of Okehampton and on the links of nearby Bude & North Cornwall.

Associate Editor

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