Phil Mickelson and the Best Left Handed Golfers of All Time

John BurkeContributor IMay 24, 2011

Phil Mickelson and the Best Left Handed Golfers of All Time

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    South Paw. 


    Call them what you will, but left-handed golfers are rare on the PGA Tour. That does not mean, however, they do not have game.

    Being a left-handed golfer is not always easy, either. The equipment manufacturers cater to right-handed golfers and swing coaches often struggle fixing a left-handed golf swing. 

    That does not mean it is impossible to succeed on the PGA Tour as a lefty.

    Just this year we have seen Bubba Watson win two tournaments on the PGA Tour, hitting the ball from what many would consider the wrong side.

    In the past, we have even seen players switch from lefty to righty mid-way through their career!

7. Nick O'Hern

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    Australian Nick O'Hern has not seen much success on the PGA Tour.

    He has, however, seen minor success on the PGA Tour of Australasia. O'Hern has won twice on that tour and also won the Order of Merit in 2006.

    In his career, O'Hern has reached the top 20 in Official World Golf Rankings. On a more impressive note, O'Hern is the only player who can claim to be have beaten Tiger Woods more than once in match play.

    You also may know O'Hern from the Titleist Pro-V1 advertisements, which show O'Hern marking his ball with a hand-drawn kangaroo. 

6. Russ Cochran

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    Russ Cochran has finished in the top 10 on 60 different occasions on the PGA Tour. 

    Of all of those 60 appearances, Cochran has notched one victory. The victory came at the 1991 Centel Western Open.

    His other claim to fame is setting a course record during the 1996 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.

5. Steve Flesch

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    Steve Flesch has traveled quite the long path to the PGA Tour.

    In the early 1990s, Flesch was on the Asian Tour, winning the Order of Merit on three separate occasions. From there, Flesch headed to the Nike Tour (currently the Nationwide Tour). 

    Finally in 2003, all of his hard work payed off at the HP Classic of New Orleans. It was there that Flesch captured his first PGA Tour victory.

    Since that first win, Flesch has won three more times on tour. 

4. Bubba Watson

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    Over the past two seasons, Bubba Watson has emerged as the best left-handed golfer on tour. 

    Not only is he the best lefty, but also one of the most lovable players on tour.

    Watson won his first tour event in 2010, beating Corey Pavin and Scott Verplank to secure the Traveler's Championship. After the victory, Watson was reduced to tears, showing the fans that PGA Tour players are human after all.

    A runner-up finish at the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits showed everyone that Watson was here to stay. 

    Already in 2011, Watson has won twice on tour, proving he is a force to be reckoned with any time he tees it up. 

3. Mike Weir

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    In his teenage years, Mike Weir wrote Jack Nicklaus to ask if he should switch to a right-handed swing.

    Nicklaus told him to do what felt natural. And natural to Weir was playing lefty, so he stuck with it.

    Good thing too.

    As a lefty, Weir has won eight times on the PGA Tour. 

    His biggest win came at the 2003 Masters, where he became the first Canadian player to win a professional major championship. 

    Fun fact: Weir is actually right-handed, but golfs lefty. 

2. Bob Charles

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    Bob Charles is one of the most successful left-handed golfers of all time.

    Born in New Zealand, Charles first made a name for himself as an 18-year-old amateur when he beat an international field at the New Zealand Open.

    In 1963, Charles won the Houston Classic, the first PGA Tour event won by a lefty. That same year Charles won the British Open to become the first left-handed major championship winner in the game's history.

    In 2007, Charles shot 68 on the European Tour to make the cut. In the process, he shot three strokes less than his age at the time (71) and became the oldest player ever to make a cut. 

1. Phil Mickelson

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    Phil Mickelson is, without a doubt, the most well-known and successful left-handed golfer of all time.

    Simply called "Lefty" by most, Mickelson is a fan favorite, and for good reason.

    Always seen with a smile on his face, Mickelson is willing to interact with the fans more than most of his colleagues. 

    On the PGA Tour, Mickelson has won four major championships and a total of 39 events. 

    Mickelson is still chasing the elusive U.S. Open. He saw his best chance at Winged Foot slip away on the final hole, when he decided to hit driver off of the tee.