Left-handed people have always been at a bit of a disadvantage in life. Of course, it's better than it was a few decades ago, when the prevailing wisdom was the left-handedness was a shortcoming that needed to be corrected. Even so, many processes, equipment and tools still favor right-handed people, forcing their southpaw counterparts to adjust.
One arena where left-handedness can sometimes be an asset is sports. Baseball hitters, pitchers, and fielders have an advantage in many instances over right-handers (the same goes for cricket bowlers), and the rarity of left-handed hockey, basketball, and football players force their defenders to adjust the way they play.
However, golf is a game which can be somewhat cruel to left-handers. Because lefty golfers are so rare (even left-handed people tend to golf right-handed), it's difficult and/or costly to even find clubs for them, much less experienced instruction. It's hard to measure how many people have given up golf altogether simply because the sport is less than friendly to their dominant hand.
That said, a few men have gone on to play professional golf despite the fact that they stand on the "wrong" side of the ball. Make no mistake: southpaw golfers are still considered rare on the PGA Tour, but there are a few of them still swinging - and a small number of them are earning money as well.
Though there are undoubtedly more left-handed golfers on other pro tours, this list focuses on the ten who have earned the most prize money while playing in PGA Tour events. Here they are, along with their career PGA winnings:
10 John Engler, Jr. - $72,694
9 Ernie Gonzalez - $275,728
8 Kevin Wentworth -$1,044,288
7 Eric Axley - $2,793,449
6 Russ Cochran - $5,579,837
5 Greg Chalmers - $8,772,111
4 Steve Flesch - $18,113,790
3 Bubba Watson - $21,631,925
2 Mike Weir $27,064,182
1 Phil Mickelson - $73,505,913
When they call you Lefty, you know you're the greatest left-handed golfer of your time. The San Diego native honed his craft at Arizona State, and won his first PGA Tour event as an amateur while still in college, capturing the Northern Telecom Open title in Tucson, Arizona (and is still the last amateur to win a tour event). Since turning pro in 1992, Mickelson has never amassed annual earnings less than six figures - and has ended each season with at least $1.2 million in prize money. He has 42 tour wins to his name, including five majors: the 2013 Open Championship, the 2005 PGA Championship, and the 2004, 2006, and 2010 Masters titles. Mickelson has eclipsed the $5 million annual earnings mark six times, and trails only Tiger Woods in career earnings.
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