By Mike Sullivan
There’s no doubt that Phil Mickelson likes to gamble. He loves to bet on sports and we’ve known this for years. However, I’m always fascinated whenever more information gets released that proves his love for gambling. I actually think it makes him pretty relatable.
But some people think he has a problem. I don’t subscribe to this belief. But let’s take a look.
He gambles whenever he can. Deadspin recently obtained a voicemail that seems to indicate that Phil Mickelson is very at home on the links, trying to stir up some golf and gambling at municipal courses in his boyhood home of San Diego.
“Hey, it’s Phil,” he says. “Hey, Sunday morning, we’re on. Yeah, it’s you and I, we’re partnered against Charley and one of his partners. Where would you like to play? We could play Rancho Santa Fe if you want, or we could play Coronado early and even some place else after if we play early enough. But you and I are partnered, wanted to see if you wanted to play Coronado and take these guys for some serious cash. So let me know. Talk to you later. Bye.”
This recording came from a July 2015 call and it has been passed around for two years in golfing circles. According to two sources familiar with the tape’s origins, the “Charley” mentioned as Mickelson’s mark is Charley Hoffman, a PGA Tour veteran and another product of the Southern California public courses.
Hoffman has actually confessed in past interviews that he mixes golf and gambling when playing non-competitive rounds. “For me,” Hoffman told the Boston Globe in 2007, “sometimes it’s a way just to keep my interest up.”
Nobody in modern golf has been linked with gambling more than Phil Mickelson, though.
“He’s notorious for never shying away from a good money match,” Golf Digest wrote about him in 2015. “It’s all part of Phil’s charm.”
Mickelson was also linked to an insider trading scheme, but was never charged with any criminal counts in the case, but investigators linked his betting with his involvement in Walters’ alleged insider trading schemes. He was ruled out as a witness in the Walters case when prosecutors were told he would invoke the Fifth Amendment if compelled to testify.
I don’t view gambling as a bad thing. As long as you can control it and don’t risk more than you can afford to lose. Mickelson makes a ton of money and I don’t think he abuses gambling at all.
I think Phil Mickelson’s love for gambling makes him more relatable to people. The average person loves to gamble and make bets with their friends. Think about yourself on the golf course, I’m sure you are constantly talking to your buddies and making side wagers on the round you are playing. It is part of the game, it is part of sports, and it is part of friendships.
Mickelson shouldn't be criticized for gambling. I don't have any issue with it whatsoever. He's a good guy who has always been a fan favorite.