Report: Phil Mickelson had $40 million in gambling losses from 2010-14

Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Federal auditors investigating Phil Mickelson's role in an insider trading scheme found his gambling losses totaled more than $40 million from 2010 to 2014, according to an excerpt from journalist Alan Shipnuck's forthcoming biography.

Shipnuck posted the excerpt on his “Firepit Collective” site Thursday. His unauthorized biography on Mickelson is scheduled to be released May 17 during the PGA Championship. Mickelson is the defending champion. He has not said if he will be playing.

Lefty and Dandy Don: How a Grosse Pointe bookie allegedly cheated Phil Mickelson

Mickelson has been out of public view since the final round of the Saudi International on Feb. 6. A short time later, Shipnuck posted explosive comments from Mickelson on his involvement in Greg Norman's Saudi-backed golf venture.

FILE - Federal auditors investigating Phil Mickelson's role in an insider trading scheme found his gambling losses totaled more than $40 million from 2010 to 2014, according to an excerpt from Alan Shipnuck's forthcoming biography.

Mickelson dismissed Saudi Arabia's human rights record, including the killing of Washington Post reporter 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 sent noted gambler Billy Walters to prison.

Walters since has been released and has said he is writing a book.

In the most recent excerpt on the $40 million in gambling losses, 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.

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 2017 split with longtime caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay, who now caddies for Justin Thomas. 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.

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.

Mickelson's gambling history was a central narrative during the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, after The News published a report on the Hall of Fame golfer's significant bets with a Grosse Pointe bookie. The details had been recently unearthed through a court-filed deposition, and Mickelson, playing the Rocket Mortgage Classic for the first time, blasted The News throughout the week, both in press conferences and on social media. At one point, he vowed never to return to Detroit, but later, citing fan support, said he'd be back.

Mickelson has not committed to the 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Staff writer Tony Paul contributed to this report.