HomeSportsMickelson Gambling News sheds $1 billion career earnings in new light

Mickelson Gambling News sheds $1 billion career earnings in new light

Phil Mickelson has been in the spotlight for over three decades, dating back to his dominant amateur golf career. Turning pro in 1992, Lefty racked up 45 PGA Tour wins, including six major titles, with numerous near misses, including six second-place finishes at the US Open.

Mickelson played second fiddle to Tiger Woods for much of his PGA Tour tenure, but it was a lucrative position in a sport that sponsors flock to because of the high-income fan demographic. Companies such as Callaway, KPMG, and Workday turned to Mickelson as a pitchman for their products and services, and Mickelson earned approximately $800 million in revenue from sponsors, appearances, and course design fees.

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He’s earned another $100 million in prize money, and Mickelson scored his biggest payday last year with a move to the LIV Tour for a reported $200 million signing bonus. Sponsors fled Mickelson after the move, but it pushed his career earnings to more than $1 billion.

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Now a highly anticipated book by professional gambler Billy Walters details Mickelson’s gambling habits as he made more than $40 million a year. “Phil loved gambling as much as anyone I ever met,” Walters wrote, according to an excerpt revealed Thursday by the Fire Pit Collective. “Honestly, given Phil’s annual income and net worth at the time, I had no problem with his bets. And still not. He’s a big gambler and big gamblers make big bets. It’s his money to spend how he wants.”

Walter estimates that Mickelson lost about $100 million over the past three decades while betting more than $1 billion. “The only other person I know who has topped that kind of book is me,” wrote Walters Gambler: Secrets of a Risky Life.

Walters wrote that Mickelson called him from the 2012 Ryder Cup asking him to place a $400,000 bet on the US to win, and Walters replied, “Have you lost your mind? Can’t remember what happened to Pete Rose? You are seen as the modern Arnold Palmer. Would you risk everything for this? I don’t want to be part of it.

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On Thursday, Mickelson released a statement denying betting on the Ryder Cup. “While I am known to always enjoy a friendly bet on the course, I would never undermine the integrity of the game,” Mickelson wrote on social media. “I have also been very open about my gambling addiction. I have previously expressed my regrets, taken responsibility, received help, fully committed to therapy that has had a positive impact on me, and I feel good about where I am today.”

Walters and Mickelson were close, but fell out in 2014 when federal authorities investigated a series of stock transactions they each made. Walters was charged with insider trading and convicted. Mickelson refused to testify on his behalf.

In 2017, Mickelson settled this civil suit with the SEC over insider trading by agreeing to hand over his nearly $1 million in winnings plus interest. He did not admit or deny the allegations in the SEC’s complaint.

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