Professional golfer Phil Mickelson is no stranger to controversy. Mickelson was a significant player in LIV Golf’s inception and rose to prominence, which thrust him into a fight against the PGA TOUR. Now, Mickelson’s long-rumored gambling addiction has been drudged up once again in a memoir from Billy Walters, a former associate, who was conviction and sentenced to jail on insider trading grounds.
According to the book, which will be released on August 23, Mickelson has placed over $1 billion in sports bets and has lost more than $100 million over the course of the last thirty years. Walters claims that Mickelson even went as far as to attempt to place a bet on the 2012 Ryder Cup despite the fact that he was playing in the event.
In an excerpt from the book shared by Golf Digest, Walters claimed the following. “In late September 2012, Phil called me from Medinah Country Club just outside Chicago, site of the 39th Ryder Cup matches between the United States and Europe. He was feeling supremely confident that the American squad led by Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, and Phil himself was about to reclaim the Cup from the Euros. He was so confident that he asked me to place a $400,000 wager for him on the U.S. team to win.”
Mickelson, to his credit, has denied this allegation profusely, taking to Twitter to release a statement proclaiming his innocence. “I never bet on the Ryder Cup,” the Lefty said. “While it is well known that I always enjoy a friendly wager on the course, I would never undermine the integrity of the game.”
He continued, saying, “I have also been very open about my gambling addiction. I have previously conveyed my remorse, took responsibility, have gotten help, have been fully committed to therapy that has positively impacted me and I feel good about where I am now.”
Following an investigation into an insider trading case that Phil was involved in, Walters was handed a five-year prison sentence in 2017 for ten counts of fraud. Walters noted that he believes Phil could have spoken to the FBI to provide information that would have set him free. In the except, Walters wrote:
“Phil Mickelson, one of the most famous people in the world and a man I once considered a friend, refused to tell a simple truth that he shared with the FBI and could have kept me out of prison. I never told him I had inside information about stocks and he knows it. All Phil had to do was publicly say it. He refused.”
In the final paragraph of the excerpt, Walters posed an interesting cliffhanger for golf fans. “While this excerpt focuses solely on our betting relationship, my book explores how Phil finagled his way out of not one, but two cases that ended in criminal convictions. As my book makes clear, Phil is not always the person he seems to be.”
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