Two days after telling a small group of reporters that he needed to make “drastic changes” in his life following federal and California state tax increases, Phil Mickelson said in a statement that he should have kept his opinions private and apologized to anyone he may have offended.
In a statement released Tuesday through his spokesman T.R. Reinman, Mickelson said, “I absolutely love what I do. I love and appreciate the game of golf and the people who surround it. I’m as motivated as I’ve ever been to work on my game, to compete and to win championships.
“Right now, I’m like many Americans who are trying to understand the new tax laws. I’ve been learning a lot over the last few months and talking with people who are trying to help me make intelligent and informed decisions. I certainly don’t have a definitive plan at this time, but 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.”
After his final round Sunday, Mickelson, 42, was asked about comments he made on a conference call last week, in reference to Steve Stricker’s plan to go into semi-retirement. On the call, Mickelson opined that each player’s way of “handling things” will be different following “what’s going on the last couple of months, politically.”
Asked to clarify those comments after the final round of the Humana Challenge, where he tied for 37th in his season debut, Mickelson said, “I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do yet. I’m not going to jump the gun, but there’s going to be some drastic changes for me, because I happen to be in that (tax) zone that has been targeted federally and by the state. It doesn’t work for me right now, so I’m going to have to make some changes.”
Mickelson, who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, said that he is being taxed at a “62 to 63 percent” rate, and confirmed that his financial situation was one of the reasons why he pulled out of the group that purchased the San Diego Padres.
Though he did not elaborate on what those “drastic changes” would be Sunday, Mickelson said he planned to discuss his situation in greater detail during his pre-tournament news conference Wednesday at the Farmers Insurance Open, in his hometown of San Diego.
This statement, however, may stand as his only comments on the topic.