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The Success and The Failures of Lefthanders in Sports

Current Best Lefthanded Golfers

Brian Harman was already the 21st leading money winner on the 2022-23 PGA tour, and ranked #26 in the Official World Golf Rankings, prior to winning the Open Championship in July 2023.  His impressive 6 stroke victory in one of the games’ most prestigious tournaments moved him into up to the 8th spot on the PGA money list and the 26th spot in the OWGR.  Harman became just the 3rd lefthanded golfer to win the Open Championship (formerly the British Open), joining Bob Charles and Phil Mickelson for that honor, and the 5th lefthander to win any of golfs major tournaments (Bubby Watson and Mike Weir) are the other two. 

While Harman is finally receiving the acclaim he deserves, he has been one of the most consistent performers on the tour for the past ten years.  He has two prior PGA tour wins, in 2014 and 2017, and has 4 second place and 9 third place finishes among 24 times in the top five and 51 times in the top 10.  Ten years in a row winning over $1,000,000 leaves him with nearly $32,000,000 in career prize money.  

While Harman is still far behind Mickelson and Watson in career wins and career earnings, he is just 36 years old and seemingly entering the prime of his career. 

Phil Mickelson is 53 years old and playing less often since leaving the PGA Tour for LIV golf, and the results have been very inconsistent.  But occasionally he looks Mickelson in his prime, such as his win at the 2021 PGA Championship or his second place finish at the 2023 Masters Tournament.

Bubba Watson is only 44 years old and should be in the prime of his career, but he has not played regularly since the 2020-21 PGA Tour Season, partially because of injury and partially because of LIV Golf.  The last of his 12 PGA Tour wins came back in 2018, but if he is healthy he could still have some good years and a few more wins.

Two younger lefthanded golfers have made their way into the top 100 money winners on this years PGA Tour.

​Akshay Bhatia moved up to #76 on the PGA Tour money list with his playoff win in the Barracuda Championship, on the same weekend that Harman won the Open Championship.  The 21 year-old from Los Angeles became the fifteenth lefthanded golfer to win a PGA tour event.  He already has one second place finish and three other times in the top ten, in just 36 tournaments played.

Garrick Higgo is currently ranked #87 on the PGA Tour money list, with a third place finish among five times in the top 25.  Higgo became the fourteenth lefthanded golfer to win a PGA tour event when he won the Palmetto Championship on June 13, 2021.  The 24 year old from South Africa already had 6 international victories, including 3 on the European Tour, when he began playing in the USA and won in just his 2nd PGA start.

Hank Lebioda has played in 19 events this year, with a T15 and a T21 to his credit.  For his career he has played in 115 tour events, and has a 3rd place finish to his credit among 5 times in the top ten.

Cody Gribble has played in 18 events this year, with two 7th place tie finishes to his credit.  He has one career win to his credit, and four other times in the top 10, in 106 events.

Greg Chalmers has played in 11 events this year, with a best finish of T33.  

Ted Potter, Jr. has played in 8 events, with a best finish of T25.

Erix Axley has played in just one or two tournaments per year since 2018, but has had very little success.

Mike Weir plays in a couple PGA events every year, but has been playing regularly and successfully on the PGA Tour Champions (Seniors Tour) for the past three years.

Steve Flesch has not played in a PGA event since 2019, but has been playing regularly and successfully on the on the PGA Tour Champions (Seniors Tour) for the past six years.

Russ Cochran hasn't played in a PGA event since 2016, but plays in a few events each year on the Champions Tour

Robert MacIntyre is easily the best lefthanded golfer on the European Tour.  The 26 year old from Scotland has three professional wins to his credit and is currently ranked 55th in the Official World Golf Rankings.  He has played in 29 PGA Tour events over the past five seasons, making the cut in 24 of them, with a 2nd place finish and three other times in the top ten in his limited appearances.