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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 five ‘southpaw’ golfers have won a major championship, combining to win 10 of golf’s biggest prizes.

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 of which 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

Bubba Watson became the fourth left-hander in the major winners’ circle when he triumphed at Augusta in 2012 – an achievement he repeated two years later – and last year, at a rain-swept Hoylake, Brian Harman made it a handful when he carefully plodded his way round Royal Liverpool to etch his name on the Claret Jug.

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 one final 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 Harman, the current crop of left-handers looking to add to this list include Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, American Akshay Bhatia, and South African Garrick Higgo.

Left-handed golfers to win the Masters

  • Mike Weir (2003, Augusta National)
  • Phil Mickelson (2004, Augusta National)
  • Phil Mickelson (2006, Augusta National)
  • Phil Mickelson (2010, Augusta National)
  • Bubba Watson (2012, Augusta National)
  • Bubba Watson (2014, Augusta National)

Left-handed golfers to win the PGA Championship

  • Phil Mickelson (2005, Baltusrol)
  • Phil Mickelson (2021, Kiawah Island)

Left-handed golfers to win the US Open

No left-handed golfer has won the US Open.

Left-handed golfers to win The Open

  • Bob Charles (1963, Royal Lytham & St Annes)
  • Phil Mickelson (2013, Muirfield)
  • Brian Harman (2023, Royal Liverpool)

In the women’s game, there is yet to be a left-handed major champion. Indeed, Bonnie Bryant is to date the only lefty to win an LPGA event. The Californian earned that small slice of history at the Greater Fort Myers Classic in 1974.

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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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