Phil Mickelson’s transformation into shooter McGavin is almost complete


Villain Shooter McGavin by Happy Gilmore (left) and Phil Milkelson.

Villain Shooter McGavin by Happy Gilmore (left) and Phil Milkelson.
screenshot: Getty

No wonder Phil Mickelson is hiding in Dagobah – or is it Elba? Golf’s second biggest name to have taken a self-imposed hiatus since commenting on working with A Saudi Arabia-backed golf league went viral being given the unauthorized biography treatment for the wrong reasons by Alan Shipnuck, the former Gulf reporter who exposed the Saudi story.

He published an excerpt from his forthcoming book, “Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar,” on Thursday, in which he says Lefty lost $40 million in four years playing and after spending went into the red can go. Shipnuck goes on to describe an altercation with a caddy over arrears and more or less suggests that Mickelson’s financial mismanagement was the reason he wanted to join the Saudi Golf League.

Here is a snippet:

“During those peak earnings years, his earnings were estimated at just over $40 million a year. That’s an obscene amount of money, but after paying his taxes (including the California tariffs, which he publicly railed against), he was left in, eh, low 20s? Then he had to cover his plane and villa(s) as well as his agent, caddy, pilot, chef, personal trainer, swing trainer and various others.

“Throw in all the other expenses of a great life — like an actual T. rex skull as a birthday present — and that leaves, eh, $10 million? That’s about as much as Mickelson averaged in annual gambling losses, according to the government audit. (And we don’t know what we don’t know.) In other words, it’s entirely possible he was barely breaking even, or maybe even in the red. And Mickelson’s earnings fell significantly during his winless years from 2014-17.”

I always thought of Phil as a real shooter McGavin. He seems like the type of guy who would ask a PR guy to get him a Diet Pepsi. I never understood the fascination for him. People adore him for being unorthodox and finally overcoming a history of choking in the majors? How New Yorkers fell in love with him at Bethpage all those years ago I’ll never know. My birthday usually falls on one of the Masters days and one of my favorite pastimes is watching Mickelson collapse, a tradition like no other, until he finally wins.

However, what I can’t shake is that this might make him a more likeable and likable character to his fans and supporters within the sport, like Lethal Weapon 2 henchman Gary Player. Fans will look for any excuse to forgive their favorite player, and each can relate to a rough run at the blackjack tables. Obviously that’s being taken lightly, because $10 million a year in losses is too high, but add that this came about because Mickelson underwent a “forensic” analysis, which sounds like a steroid exam , and there’s a way to get him at least one beloved villain.

I don’t think that’s the case in court because my colleague Grace McDermott and I have written about it Lefty’s heel turn from the jumpso we know the government investigated Phil’s records because he was linked to an insider trading scam that resulted in a $10 million fine and jail time for famous professional gambler Billy Walters.

Basically, the difference between a pro gambler and a degenerate is that one wins money and the other is Adam Sandler from Uncut Gems? Speaking of Sandler, I don’t know what HAppy Gilmore It would be funnier to parody a scene with Mickelson: Shooter/Phil complains to the tour commissioner about Happy/Alan Shupnick, or Shooter/Phil meets up with a shady nutcase/Saudi to fix a game/start a golf league. You know he had no intention of going to Sizzler with those “creepy motherfuckers”.

Mickelson has averted any wrongdoing in the Walters case, but the visuals of his involvement are even worse now that it sounds like he may have enjoyed the occasional or 30 bet. The cap for the younger players to get a bigger share of the win also seems disingenuous to the nth degree. Did Mickelson ever take care of everyone, or did he use their distress as a vehicle to pay off a few bookies for a sure thing that went south? Count me among the camps that would have thought so Jake Paul’s concern for his sport was bullshit than Phil’s alleged entry.

The question Shipnuck is asked to answer is: does Mickelson react to a bad beat the same way he reacts to a drive in the woods? you know what i’m talking about He blinks a second or two too long to see if it’s really as bad as he thought, and then realizing he’s about to take his next shot off Frankenstein’s fat foot, his head hits the ground like a dude who just left.

Shipnuck’s mention of Mickelson buying a T. rex skull for his birthday was my favorite bite. If we’ve learned anything about celebrities buying dinosaur bones to decorate their mansions, it’s that Lefty, who flirts with the Saudis, was the equivalent of Nicolas Cage making B-action flicks with Netflix to pay off his extravagant debts. Granted, Netflix isn’t the Saudis – they don’t kill journalists, they just kill the careers of aging action movie stars.

Maybe Christopher McDonald, the guy who played shooter, can give Mickelson some acting lessons if he’s thinking about a career change.

Okay, that’s my tight five with Phil. Check back for the full routine later this month when the book comes out.

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