Golf Great Phil Mickelson Lost Obscene Amount Of Money Gambling, Says New Book
Phil Mickelson racked up a stunning $40 million in gambling losses in just four years, according to an upcoming book.
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Golf great Phil Mickelson racked up a stunning $40 million in gambling losses from 2010-14, according an excerpt from an upcoming biography.

The huge losses were uncovered by federal auditors who investigated Mickelson’s connection to an insider trading scheme, according to Alan Shipnuck, who posted an excerpt from his unauthorized biography, “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar,” on his website, “Firepit Collective.” The book is due out on May 17, coinciding with Mickelson’s potential defense of his 2021 PGA Championship.

“According to a source with direct access to the documents, Mickelson had gambling losses totaling more than $40 million in the four-year period (2010–14) that was scrutinized,” Shipnuck wrote. “In those prime earning years, his income was estimated to be just north of $40 million a year.”

Shipnuck, a former Sports Illustrated golf writer, cited documents from government auditors who did a “forensic” analysis of Mickelson’s finances during the period in which he was involved with professional gambler Billy Walters, who gave Mickelson insider stock tips. Mickelson was not accused of any wrongdoing, but had to pay back about $1 million in stock profits. Walters  was fined $10 million and sentenced to five years in prison.

Mickelson, 51, has kept a low profile since early February when he courted controversy by signing on for a Saudi-backed golf tour. Mickelson angered many in the golf world with his comments on the Kingdom’s horrific human rights record, including the killing of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi.

The Saudi-backed LIV Golf Tour was launched by fellow golf great Greg Norman with funding from Saudi royals. Mickelson helped recruit golfers to join the tour, which the PGA sees as direct competition. The first LIV Golf Invitational series is set to tee off June 9-11 outside London.

The Telegraph reported that Mickelson is getting $30 million up front and must appear in eight events during the LIV Golf Invitational series. It is not known who will take part in the tournament.

Mickelson, known to fans as “Lefty,” has won 45 PGA tour events, including three Masters, two PGA championships and one Open. Last year’s PGA victory made Mickelson the oldest golfer to ever win a major championship.

Shipnuck, who wrote that Mickelson’s lavish lifestyle remains legendary – including getting multiple mansions, a plane and a genuine T Rex skull for a birthday present – said he still roots for the golfer.

“There is something Shakespearean about Mickelson’s arc,” Shipnuck wrote on his blog. “He had it all, or so it seemed, but greed and vanity and recklessness (and perhaps desperation) cost him everything, at least in the short-term. But he will come back, because he always has, through myriad controversies and heartbreaks.”

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