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How Mickelson gambled during tournaments with announcer who was throwing ‘wadded-up twenties out of tower’

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We will not see defending PGA champion Phil Mickelson at Southern Hills this week but his name is still creating headlines just a day before the first tee time.

It cannot be a coincidence that the release of Alan Shipnuck’s no-holds-barred biography was timed for this very week, but it is the nature of the content, plus previously reported excerpts from the book, that make PGA Championship week more than the names on the entry list.

Just a few days ago, we reported on a part of the bio that concentrates on a story told by golf scribe John Hawkins.

In the short piece, Hawkins alleges Mickelson made large numbers bets on college basketball games in a brief space of time, so many that he felt the now-maligned player to be “showing off”.

The book makes many further allegations, including a segment involving outspoken former professional and announcer Gary McCord.

In that section of the book, McCord alleges gambling took place on the putting green during tournaments, and in the most bizarre fashion.

“When I was in the TV tower, every time Phil got to my hole, Bones (caddie Jim Mackay) would look up at me and I would flash the odds,” McCord said. “If Phil had a 15-footer, I’d flash three fingers, which meant the odds were 3-1. If he was 60 feet, I’d give him 2-1 on a two-putt. Bones would go down and whisper in his ear and Phil would look up at me and shake his head, yes or no.”

“I can’t tell you how many wadded-up twenties I threw out of the tower until the Tour found out about it and I got word through CBS I was no longer allowed to gamble with Phil while up in the tower.”

Previous to these allegations, Mickelson’s gambling habits were the stuff of hearsay, but this is perhaps the wildest Phil related gambling story of them all.

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4 Comments

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  1. Pingback: Phil Mickelson says he’s received ‘hundreds of hours of therapy’ for ‘reckless’ gambling addiction – GolfWRX

  2. Pingback: Phil Mickelson once challenged writer to ‘throw the first punch’ at him during PGA Championship – GolfWRX

  3. Rich

    May 18, 2022 at 5:18 pm

    Look at all that 10 cent paper (5 cents paper, 5 cents ink). The only reason it has value is another sucker will accept it.

    Gold and value-creating skills are the real money.

  4. RicFlair

    May 18, 2022 at 9:16 am

    Now THIS is the type of content we need…keep em’ coming! Let’s get some Phil and Michael Jordan stories next.

    I applaud the move by Phil and McCord. Guy really needs constant action.

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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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