September 27, 2022

Phil Mickelson lost $40 million gambling in 5 years: report

Phil Mickelson hits his tee shot on the fifth hole at Torrey Pines during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open on Jan. 26, 2022, in San Diego. (Denis Poroy/AP)

He didn’t have a handle on things.

Phil Mickelson lost $40 million gambling between 2010 and 2014, according to a report.

Mickelson, 51, famously owed millions in gambling debts to a man convicted of insider trading in 2017. A source told golf writer Alan Shipnuck that federal investigators determined Mickelson lost $40 million while betting from 2010-2014.

Shipnuck estimated Mickelson’s income at $40 million per year in those years, but given his notoriously vast expenses, it’s possible he was losing money.

Many people speculated that gambling debt was part of Mickelson’s motivation for cozying up to an extremely controversial breakaway golf tour funded by Saudi Arabia.

The six-time major champion denied that. He said he simply wanted “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how the PGA Tour operates” even if it meant jumping into business with “scary motherf—ers” with “a horrible record on human rights.”

Shipnuck also reported Mickelson’s quotes about Saudi Arabia in February as part of his upcoming biography of the fan-favorite golfer.

It remains unclear whether Mickelson will play in this year’s PGA Championship beginning May 19, despite the fact that he won the tournament last year. Shipnuck, a veteran golf writer who spent years working on the book, said even he didn’t know.

Money was also the reason Mickelson split from his caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay, in 2017, according to Shipnuck.

“The statements made the divorce sound amicable, but that was nonsense,” Shipnuck wrote Thursday. “Bones had fired Phil…over a series of simmering grievances (laid out in detail in the book), including hundreds of thousands of dollars in overdue back pay.”

Mickelson publicly apologized after Shipnuck published his comments about Saudi Arabia, but he has hardly been heard from otherwise.

The insider trader and sports bettor that Phil owed money to, Billy Walters, spent about four years in prison before then-President Donald Trump commuted his sentence on his last day in office.