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19th Hole

Major champ shares wild Phil Mickelson gambling story from Presidents Cup

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A few weeks ago, an excerpt from Alan Shipnuck’s new book titled: “PHIL: The Rip-Roaring (Unauthorized) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar” was released.

Many were shocked to learn that Mickelson reportedly lost $40 million from gambling throughout the prime years of his career, according to Shipnuck.

Ahead of next week’s release of the book, the author has released an excerpt to  The Times of London which discusses how gambling affected Lefty during the course of his career.

The article shockingly states that Mickelson “more concerned” with checking the box scores and “covering the spread” while he was playing in tournaments.

Steve Flesch, who was paired with Mickelson on a Sunday during the Hyundai Team Matches, told Shipnuck that every hole Mickelson “was checking like a beeper or something.”

“He could not have cared any less about what we were doing on the golf course. He was definitely more concerned about who was winning the football games and who was covering the spread.”

Tom Lehman also had a similar story for the book. He told Shipnuck that Mickelson was checking scores football during the Presidents Cup in 2000.

The United States won the Presidents Cup handedly that year, but Mickelson had little to do with it.

Lehman was paired with Phil and their opponents were Mike Weir and Steve Elkington.

The 63-year-old told Shipnuck: “Phil is hitting it everywhere — he’s barely finished a hole through the first eight holes. He keeps saying, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll show up eventually.’

“On the ninth hole he buries it in the front bunker and is out of the hole again. He walks way back into the trees and is sitting on a stump with his back to everybody and his head down.

“I think he’s giving himself a pep talk, so I go over there to try to make him feel better and he’s got his phone out and he’s checking the football scores.”

Mickelson’s downward spiral since he made comments about the PGA Tour’s “obnoxious greed” has been fast and furious. His withdrawal from this week’s PGA Championship is more evidence that all of the bad publicity is having a severe impact on the 51-year-old.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Professor

    May 20, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    These comments are even funnier than the article. I mean, you can count the number of players who have come to Phil’s defense on one hand. But the fanboy stuff is hilarious. None of us know Phil. The people quoted in the article all know Phil. But that doesn’t stop some here from saying they must be lying. It isn’t a cancellation, it’s called reporting. But I guess it’s easy to just blame the media when they report something you don’t like or agree with. Funny how no one is commenting on the positive things Shipnuck had to say about Phil’s generosity and philanthropic endeavors?

  2. Bill Collier

    May 20, 2022 at 10:41 am

    It’s easy to kick a man when he is down. For whatever reasons, Phil is a fan favorite. Like they say, everyone has an opinion, and I hope Phil comes back and shuts up the “holier than thou” crowd.

  3. Hunter

    May 17, 2022 at 3:57 pm

    Those saying this couldn’t have happened because smart phones weren’t around need to brush up on their cell phone history. 100% this story is true. I’d trust Tom over Phil every time.

  4. Mike

    May 17, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    Wow! So I guess Phil, just like Tiger, isn’t perfect. Is that the media’s fault for building them up that way or our own gullibility and stupidity for believing it?

  5. Scott

    May 17, 2022 at 11:07 am

    The attempted cancellation of Phil continues.

    • John

      May 18, 2022 at 9:56 am

      Oh give me a break Phil Fanboy…

      • Scott

        May 18, 2022 at 10:27 am

        This is more of an indictment of the media than a defense of Phil, not a fanboy at all. Although he’s alot more fun to watch than tiger.

  6. Riddy Culus

    May 17, 2022 at 8:56 am

    There were no smart phones in 2000. Not likely this story is true.

    • Jeff

      May 17, 2022 at 9:54 am

      There absolutely were internet connected phones, however and services which offered life updates over text message. But sure, lets assume that multiple other professional golfers are somehow less reliable than what some want to believe about Phil Mickelson. Has he even denied these things or is the denial just your preferred fantasy?

    • Hunter

      May 17, 2022 at 3:55 pm

      Wrong. The first smart phone came out in 1994. By 2000, you most certainly could check scores. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

    • John

      May 18, 2022 at 9:57 am

      WRONG.

  7. Hopp

    May 17, 2022 at 8:47 am

    Phil deniers out in force, guess he isn’t the stand up person you all thought he was. Just another gambaholic.

  8. Pingback: ‘I don’t trust Shipnuck’ – Former PGA champ hits out at author of new Mickelson biography – GolfWRX

  9. Scott

    May 17, 2022 at 1:23 am

    Aren’t you getting tired of kicking Phil around? What’s the matter no pro tiger story today?

    • John

      May 18, 2022 at 9:58 am

      Another Phil Fanboy has shown up, what a surprise.

  10. Fay K. Gnews

    May 16, 2022 at 9:58 pm

    Doubtful this happened.

    • John

      May 18, 2022 at 9:59 am

      More like guaranteed.
      Way too much info on Phil now and his shenanigans to believe none of it happened.
      A bit naive..

  11. The Enforcer

    May 16, 2022 at 5:50 pm

    This shipnuck guy will get his.

  12. Rebecca Enholm

    May 16, 2022 at 2:46 pm

    I’m so tired of bits of stories, so and so said, to a hack of a writer who had no problem revealing some of the off record accounts in his book. Hope he chokes on every dollar it earns him. Phil has easily been the second most influential golfer of his time, and will eventually be just fine. His fans will continue to support him, and count me as one. I’ve been a fan since his first tournament win as an amateur, and paid close attention to golf because of him. Now, I don’t care so much. I’d still love an explanation of how golfers, who are supposedly not employees, but rather free to play when they qualify or want to, can be dictated they now can not participate in this high paying new league?

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19th Hole

Freak incident leads LPGA pro to finish round putting with her wedge

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Golf viewers have seen plenty of tantrums on the golf course.

Go back to the likes of John Daly and Jon Rahm for not exactly hiding their frustrations with a bad shot, whilst the list of players throwing or damaging clubs is manifold. Indeed, just five days ago, recordings showed Grayson Murray snapping a club over his knee after a wayward approach at the US Open in Brookline.

It’s a bit more unusual on the womens’ tours, although Brooke Henderson put up a show at the 2018 KPMG PGA Championship when throwing her club on to her bag and snapping it, rendering it impossible to play with.

LPGA player Emma Talley isn’t in that league and usually takes it out on her putter by rapping it against her left foot. On Thursday, however, she damaged her flat stick on the 6th green at Congressional, scene of this season’s KPMG event, some four years after Henderson’s misdemeanour.

The former US Women’s Amateur champion admitted it surprised her, as she hadn’t rapped the club with that much force:

“I hit my putter on my toe, but it wasn’t even that hard. That’s why I’m so upset because I wish I would have broken it out of madness, but it wasn’t even that hard. That’s what sucked.”

TV coverage showed viewers the 28-year-old putting with a wedge from that moment on whilst Todd Garry of the PGA of America explained:

“So, Emma, on the 6th green, missed a short putt and kind of hit her foot with her putter, and she loosened the clubhead. She could continue to use it throughout her round but she decided to use her wedge, so she must replace….she has to get that fixed before starting her round tomorrow, but she could have kept using her putter.”

Coverage then showed Talley in tears after missing a gettable putt on the 8th, her 17th of the day, and finished 6-over, some four shots off the cut line.

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19th Hole

DP World Tour announces sanctions for LIV golfers…including heavy fines

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In a dramatic move by the DP World Tour, all players involved with the LIV Golf Series will be fined and banned from entering the Scottish Open in July.

With the highly-regarded tournament set to take place at the Renaissance Club for the fourth year in succession, many of the top players will have planned to use the event to prepare for The Open Championship, set to have its 150th running at St. Andrews, just a week later.

Whilst the R&A, the organisation with control of the final major, is allowing LIV players into the event, this seems to be a European version of the twists and turns in the United States, where LIV players were welcomed into the PGA Championship but shunned by the PGA Tour.

The DP World Tour will fine members that played at the opening LIV event at the Centurion Club to the tune of £100,000 and suspend all from both the Genesis Scottish Open and Barbasol Championship, held from July 7th-10th, and from the Barracuda Championship, taking place as an ‘opposite’ event to what should be a classic final major.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the DP World Tour, has not ruled out further action, his statement confirming that participation in further conflicting tournaments without the required release “may incur further sanctions.”

The Scottish Open is an event that has often enticed many of the live candidates for The Open, and can list both Phil Mickelson and Graeme McDowell as previous winners, the pair now banned from the event because of their participation in the inaugural LIV event.

The 2021 running saw Collin Morikawa finish down the field before coming on from the experience to win the Claret Jug, whilst joint runner-up Matt Fitzpatrick subsequently won the Andalucia Masters and, of course, the recent US Open at Brookline.

Whilst the amount of the fine is peanuts in comparison to the millions that has been offered to the likes of Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, this will go down well with players with the same mindset as Morikawa, Max Homa and Rory McIlroy, all of whom talk of history and tradition.

Indeed, the last-named and recent Canadian Open winner has labelled some of the breakaway players as “duplicitous”, a reference to the talk of ‘loyalty’ to the PGA Tour and a quick backtrack to signing for the Saudi-backed series.

Pelley was clear in his statement made earlier today:

“Every action anyone takes in life comes with a consequence and it is no different in professional sport, especially if a person chooses to break the rules. That is what has occurred here with several of our members.”

“Many members I have spoken to in recent weeks expressed the viewpoint that those who have chosen this route have not only disrespected them and our Tour but also the meritocratic ecosystem of professional golf that has been the bedrock of our game for the past half a century and which will also be the foundation upon which we build the next 50 years.”

Pelley concludes, “Their actions are not fair to the majority of our membership and undermine the Tour, which is why we are taking the action we have announced today.”

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19th Hole

Xander Schauffele reveals why he turned down ‘obnoxious’ LIV money

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Xander Schauffele has been one of stars on the PGA Tour who’s been rumored to be a target of the LIV Golf series.

According to his interview with The Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports Radio, he’s been steadfast in turning down the proposals of the Saudi-backed golf league.

“Yeah I’m here,” he said. “I met with Jay, we had a player meeting today. I met with Jay myself yesterday and I see myself right now trying to find a way to keep guys on the Tour versus being one to bail.”

“I’m very happy with what’s going on the Tour for the most part and I feel like there’s enough here. I know we’re competing against a big pot of money that’s sort of never ending, you can strike out a million times but there’s still gonna be on that plate swinging so it’s a hard competitor to go up against but I feel like there’s enough on this Tour and enough talent to make it the best in the world and keep it the best.”

“I’m not the first one to sit here and lie to somebody, the numbers being thrown around are very obnoxious. There are certain numbers that even fans of mine, if they looked at it and sit it they’d tell me I’m an idiot for not going, but right now, I’m 28-years-old, I want to win Major championships, I want to win PGA Tour events, and I really think we can make this product on the PGA Tour, it’s been the best and now there is competition, and we can keep it the best with the talent we have, we just kind of need to unify and keep it together.

“So to any one of my fans, words are words, and actions speak louder than words, and right now my actions are to stay on the tour and you’ll see me out here competing on the PGA Tour circuit.”

Of course, Brooks Koepka and others have said they were staying on the PGA Tour and ended up going to LIV anyway. Some users on Twitter pointed out Schauffele’s careful wording when answering the question.

@ToeTagginTambo pointed out that he used the words “right now” when describing his intentions to stay on the PGA Tour, but Xander has, at the very least, committed his immediate future to the PGA Tour.

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