Phil Mickelson is one of the most famous and talented golfers in the history of the sport. He has won 42 PGA events, including three Masters titles, and is considered to be one of the finest players ever. Phil is nicknamed Lefty on the golfing circuit due to his unorthodox left-handed swing, despite being a right-handed player. Like many wealthy athletes, Mickelson has a few vices, but some are more questionable than others.
In 2015, Forbes magazine estimated that Mickelson had an annual income of a little over $50 million. Even after the mortgage, insurance, and shopping is taken out of that, we reckon there’s a pretty tidy chunk left over. So, you are a multimillionaire golf pro, with time to kill between training, money to burn, and a serious case of boredom. What do you do? Simple, you gamble.
Phil Mickelson is known as a big gambler on the golfing circuit, and, like many athletes, has lost a lot of money from his gambling exploits. In fact, in 2012, it was revealed that Lefty had racked up, and paid off, gambling debts of around $2 million! This may not seem like a lot if you are earning $50 million a year, but these debts can soon mount up, and get bigger.
Gambling is an expensive hobby, and, it’s even more expensive when you don’t regulate yourself very well. The problem that a lot of athletes have is that they don’t know when to quit when they’re ahead. Luckily for Phil, the $2 million was something that he could afford to pay off, after success at a few tournaments.
It is said that the payment was made to sports gambler Billy Walters, who has subsequently been charged and convicted for an insider trading scheme. It is not clear whether Mickelson had any involvement in this, and it’s likely he didn’t. Sources claim that Walters provided the golf star with a stock tip, and this is the only link they have.
It seems likely that Mickelson will think twice before gambling in this manner again. He will probably just stick to the casinos from now on. Trust us, Phil, it’s best to avoid those get-rich schemes, especially when you already have plenty of moolah!