Embattled PGA star Phil Mickelson racked up $40 million in gambling losses, biographer says

Embattled golf legend Phil Mickelson gambled away $40M in just four years and placed 50 bets in 20 minutes in front of stunned journalist, biography claims

  • Mickelson racked up $40M in gambling losses from 2010 to 2014, author says
  • Feds discovered the losses while investigating an insider trading scheme
  • Reporter tells of Mickelson’s brazen gambling spree in a locker room
  • Author Alan Shipnuck’s unauthorized biography will be released on May 17
  • Mickelson has remained out of sight since explosive remarks on Saudi tour

Phil Mickelson racked up $40 million in gambling losses from 2010 to 2014 and flaunted his betting habit in front of an astonished reporter, according to the PGA star’s biographer.

Federal auditors discovered the steep losses while investigating Mickelson’s role in an insider trading scheme, according to an excerpt from Alan Shipnuck’s forthcoming biography.

The book also claims that Michelson once brazenly pulled out his phone in front of a reporter and made some 50 bets on college basketball games in about 20 minutes ‘like he was showing off’.

Shipnuck’s unauthorized biography on Mickelson is due to be released May 17 during the PGA Championship. Mickelson is the defending champion, but he has not said if he will be playing.

Phil Mickelson racked up $40 million in gambling losses from 2010 to 2014 and flaunted his betting habit in front of an astonished reporter, biographer Alan Shipnuck claims

Phil Mickelson racked up $40 million in gambling losses from 2010 to 2014 and flaunted his betting habit in front of an astonished reporter, biographer Alan Shipnuck claims

Shipnuck's unauthorized biography on Mickelson is due to be released May 17 during the PGA Championship

Alan Shipnuck’s (left) forthcoming biography will be released during the PGA Championship. Mickelson is the defending champion, but he has not said if he will be playing

Mickelson has remained out of public view since the final round of the Saudi International in February, when Shipnuck posted explosive comments from Mickelson on his involvement in Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed rival tour.

Mickelson dismissed Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, including the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, by saying it was worth getting involved with the Saudis if it meant gaining leverage to get what he wanted from the PGA Tour.

Mickelson was a relief defendant in 2016 in the insider trading case that he felt noted gambler Billy Walters to prison.

Though Mickelson escaped criminal charges in the case, he had to foreit nearly $1 million in profits on dubious stock trades. Walters has since been released from prison and has said he is writing a book.

On Thursday, Shipnuck posted an except from his forthcoming book on the Firepit Collective website.

Shipnuck wrote that government auditors investigated Mickelson’s finances over four years from 2010 to 2014. The author cited a source with direct access to the documents.

Phil Mickelson of the United States and caddy Tim Mickelson walk the 18th hole during Day One of The 149th Open at Royal St George's Golf Club on July 15, 2021 in Sandwich, England

Phil Mickelson of the United States and caddy Tim Mickelson walk the 18th hole during Day One of The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club on July 15, 2021 in Sandwich, England

Mickelson’s annual income in 2012 – the time of the Dean Foods stock deal that netted Mickelson nearly $1 million in one week – was estimated at about $48 million.

Shipnuck also said money was largely behind his split with longtime caddy Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay in 2017.

He wrote that Mackay left Mickelson after the Memorial that year over a series of ‘simmering grievances,’ including hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay. Shipnuck wrote more details on that would be in the book.

The excerpt also revealed a shocking anecdote from golf reporter John Hawkins, who said he was in a locker room with Mickelson when the PGA star pulled out his phone and began frantically placing bets.

‘Over 20 minutes he must’ve made 50 bets,’ Hawkins told the author.

‘It was like he was showing off,’ he added.

‘I’ve being about so Phil’s motivation in brazen in front of me,’ Hawkins said. ‘Was he trying to co-opt me? Was he testing my loyalty?’

Phil Mickelson holds the trophy on the 18th green after the final round of the PGA TOUR Champions Constellation in 2021. He has remained out of sight since February

Phil Mickelson holds the trophy on the 18th green after the final round of the PGA TOUR Champions Constellation in 2021. He has remained out of sight since February

Hawkins never ended up writing about the gambling spree.

Mickelson was seen as a chief recruiter for Norman and his Saudi-funded LIV Golf Investments.

He told Shipnuck in a November interview – that excerpt was published in February – that he recruited three players who paid attorneys to write the operating agreement of the new league.

Mickelson’s agent said he has asked the PGA Tour for a conflicting event release to play in the first LIV Golf Invitational series to be held June 9-11 outside London.

The Telegraph in London cited sources as saying Mickelson has received $30 million up front and must appear in each of the eight events that make up the LIV Golf Invitational series.

The tournaments offer $20 million in prize money, with an additional $5 million for team play.

Details of who’s playing and how the team component will work have not been announced.

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