Phil Mickelson Apologizes for Tax Comments

Mickelson complained about changes in state and federal taxes

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Phil Mickelson hits his third shot on the 14th hole during the final round of the Humana Challenge.

    Phil Mickelson says he should have kept his opinions on taxes to himself.

    Mickelson had suggested "drastic changes" were in store for him because of changes in federal and state taxes that he says tap into more than 60 percent of his income.

    He said it was the reason behind his decision not to be part of the new ownership group of the San Diego Padres.

    "It's been an interesting offseason," Mickelson said Sunday after the final round of the Humana Challenge. "And I'm going to have to make some drastic changes. I'm not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes."

    The 42-year-old golfer said he would talk in more detail about his plans -- possibly moving away from California or even retiring from golf -- before his hometown Farmers Insurance Open, the San Diego-area event that starts Thursday at Torrey Pines.

    "I'm not sure what exactly, you know, I'm going to do yet," Mickelson said. "I'll probably talk about it more in depth next week. I'm not going to jump the gun, but there are going to be some. There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and, you know, it doesn't work for me right now. So I'm going to have to make some changes."

    In November, California voters approved Proposition 30, the first statewide tax increase since 2004. Mickelson lives in Rancho Santa Fe.

    "If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate's 62, 63 percent," Mickelson said. "So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do."

    No surprise his comments produced a lot of reaction from fans around the country.

    So on Monday, Mickelson says in a statement that finances and taxes are personal and he should not have publicized his complaints.

    "I absolutely love what I do...I'm as motivated as I've ever been to work on my game and to win championships.

    “Right now, I'm like many Americans who are trying to understand the new tax laws....like everyone else I want to make decisions that are best for my future and my family.

    “Finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public. I apologize to those I have upset or insulted and assure you I intend to not let it happen again."

    Last year, Mickelson flirted with becoming a part owner of the San Diego Padres, the baseball team that sold for $800 million in August. He was asked Sunday if there was a correlation between the tax increases and what happened to the Padres' deal.

    "Absolutely," Mickelson said.

    Mickelson closed with a 66 on Sunday to tie for 37th at 17 under in his season debut. The tournament was his first since the HSBC Champions in early November in China. The Hall of Famer has 40 PGA Tour victories.
     

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