The Success and The Failures of Lefthanders In Sports

Sam Adams played in 164 tour events from 1971-1979.  He finished tied for 2nd in the Canadian Open in 1972, and when he won the Quad Cities Open in 1973 he became only the second lefthander, and first American lefthander, ever to win a PGA event.  Those were the two best years of his career, and he never finished in the top 3 of any other tournament, although he did finish in the top ten a total of 6 times.

Ernie Gonzales played in 179 tour events, with the majority of them coming from 1985 to 1989.  When he won the 1986 Pensacola Open he became just the third lefthanded golfer ever to win a PGA tour event.  1986 was his best year, with two other top ten finishes, but never came close to winning again in his time on the tour.

Kevin Wentworth played in a total of 105 PGA Tour Events, mostly from 1998 to 2001.  He had one second place finish among 7 times in the top ten.

Greg Chalmers has played in 439 tour events since 1998, with one tour victory in 2016, plus two 2nd place finishes among 24 times in the top ten.  He finished 4th in the 2000 US Open.

Nick O'Hern has played in 187 tour events since 2001, with one 2nd place and four 3rd place finishes among 23 times in the top ten.  He finished sixth in the 2006 US Open.

Tim Wilkinson has played in 123 tour events since 2003, with one 2nd place and one 3rd place finishes among 7 times in the top ten.

Chalmers and O'Hern are from Australia, and Wilkinson is from New Zealand, and all three of them have had great success on the Australian and Asian tours.

John Engler Jr. was an accomplished college golfer, but a serious auto accident interrupted his career and brought an early end to it.  He played in 27 tour events in 2006 before having to retire at an early age.

Eric Axley has played in 140 tour events beginning in 2003.  His best year was 2006, when he had one tour victory and one 3rd place finish among five times in the top 10. He finished tied for ninth in the 2008 US Open, but has not had much success since then. 

Ted Potter Jr. played in 71 tour events from 2012 to 2014, with one tour victory in 2012, but not much success before or after.  He played in just 4 tour events over the next three years, but in 2018 he has played in 12 events so far, and was a surprise winner in February at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

​Cody Gribble has played in 59 PGA tour events, mostly in 2017 and 2018.  He has one tour victory and two other finishes in the top ten, all in 2017.

Rick Lamb has played in 29 PGA tour events in 2017 and 2018.  He has one third place finish and one other time in the top 10, both in 2017.

​Other Lefthanded Golfers In PGA Tour Events