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Phil Mickelson Reportedly Had $40M+ in Gambling Losses From 2010-2014

According to a government forensic audit, Mickelson’s losses totaled more than $40 million in just a four-year span.

Phil Mickelson
Photo: Getty Images

Phil Mickelson hasn’t played in a professional golf event since early February but continues to make headlines across the country.

According to an excerpt from Alan Shipnuck’s forthcoming biography on Mickelson, ‘Lefty’ lost more than $40 million while gambling from 2010 to 2014. Shipnuck posted the excerpt to his “Fire Pit Collective” website on Thursday, claiming to have a source with direct access to a government forensic audit on Mickelson’s finances.

During a February interview with Shipnuck, Phil Mickelson made controversial comments regarding the start-up of a new Saudi-backed golf league. The 51-year-old told Shipnuck that he would be interested in joining despite the Saudis being “scary mother (bleep)-ers”, while also dismissing their past history of human rights violations. The Telegraph in London recently reported that Mickelson received $30 million upfront to join the LIV Golf Invitational series and must appear in each of the eight events.

Mickelson also previously spoke out about other playing opportunities, citing the PGA Tour’s “obnoxious greed” as the root cause.

Due to both sets of comments, Mickelson lost sponsorships with KPMG, Amstel Light, and Workday. He also was forced to miss out on The Masters for the first time since 1994. According to Golfweek, Mickelson was “either told or strongly encouraged” by Augusta National to skip out on the major tournament.

Going Forward

Since then, Mickelson has remained away from golf, with rumors swirling about a potential return at the 2022 PGA Championship. But after Shipnuck’s latest excerpt on the gambling losses, Mickelson’s status seems to be murkier than ever.

“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. In those prime earning years, his income was estimated to be just north of $40 million a year. That’s an obscene amount of money, but once he paid his taxes (including the California tariffs he publicly railed against), he was left with, what, low-20s? Then he had to cover his plane and mansion(s), plus his agent, caddie, pilots, chef, personal trainer, swing coaches and sundry others. Throw in all the other expenses of a big life—like an actual T. Rex skull for a birthday present—and that leaves, what, $10 million? Per the government audit, that’s roughly how much Mickelson averaged in annual gambling losses. (And we don’t know what we don’t know.) In other words, it’s quite possible he was barely breaking even, or maybe even in the red. And Mickelson’s income dropped considerably during his winless years from 2014 to ’17.”

The Fire Pit Collective

Mickelson was part of an insider trading investigation in 2016. The investigation ended with professional gambler (and entrepreneur) Billy Walters going to prison. While Mickelson took home an estimated $48 million in 2012 alone, losing $40 million from gambling is an INSANE amount. This is true even for a professional athlete with a status like Phil’s.

Shipnuck’s biography on Phil Mickelson is set to be released on May 17, with the PGA Championship kicking off just two days later. Whether or not Mickelson will be able to defend his title remains unknown. It’s hard to imagine the PGA Tour allowing ‘Lefty’ back in their events after yet another blunder.

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