Doughtie Sr. on Golf (April 2014)

Lefties


Now that we have enjoyed watching The Masters for another year and the excitement unfold before us,I couldn't help but think of situations which could have thrown up some interesting new records.

Could the likeable Spaniard,Jiminez,not only become the oldest recipient of a Green Jacket,but also ,at 50 years of age,the oldest Major winner,overtaking Julius Boros who was 48 when he captured the USPGA in 1968.

Or would it be Jordan Speith,the US Rookie, at 20 ,trying on the famous blazer as the youngest winner,an honour presently held by Tiger Woods ,who was 21 when he was measured for his first.If he had ,he would still have been far away from the youngest Major winner.It is unlikely that Young Tom Morris' British Open victory in 1868,when only 17 ,will ever be challenged....but who knows....?????

But as Bubba Watson strolled the last few holes with a comfortable margin,it appeared that a unique Masters statistic was about to be created.

His second triumph at Augusta National,was the 6th left-handed victory in the last 12 years......50%.

Since the diminutive Mike Weir,had the Jacket draped over his shoulders in 2003 by Woods,he not only became the first Canadian winner,but the first leftie to succeed.A year later he handed over a similar blazer to South Paw(left-hander) Phil Mickelson ,who repeated the victory in 2006.

The popular Mickelson completed his hat-trick in 2010 and 2 years later Bubba Watson,in spectacular fashion,at the 2nd play-off hole,blasted his ball on to the green for his victory at Augusta and maiden Major.By capturing this years event,he completed his double and increased the tally of left-handed winners to 6, all in the past 12 years....

It has been uncommon for a leftie to seize Major victories.Bob Charles of New Zealand,became the 1st at The Open in 1965 and the Claret Jug had to wait till 2013 before it could be grasped again from "the other side",when Mickelson capped a happy summer in Scotland at last years event,adding to his left-handed USPGA win in 2005.

Until recently left-handed players have been a rarity.Lack of equipment and a majority of right-handed coaches, forced many lefties to switch sides.

On the basis that the leading hand should be the stronger of the two,it is interesting that both Weir and Mickelson do everything,apart from golf,right-handed.......what excuse do some of us have.....I am naturally left -handed but play,or should I say,try to play, right -handed.

Statistics are difficult to come by,but it is reckoned that 10% of golfers play left-handed(about 13% of the World population is left-handed).However,interestingly enough about 40% of golfers in Weir's homeland,Canada are lefties.This is probably due to the left hand being the dominant one in Canada's National sport of ice hockey.And may explain why at Inverness and nearby Newtonmore Golf Clubs in the Scottish Highlands,where shinty,a form of field hockey,is the main sport,40-50% of members play left-handed.

Let us see if more lefties break through in the years to come.

Which ever side you play from ,I hope you enjoy the season ahead of us.....

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