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Mickelson joins group looking to buy Padres

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Phil Mickelson wants a piece of the San Diego Padres.

Mickelson has joined a group seeking to purchase a majority stake in the Major League Baseball franchise, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

“I’ve had the opportunity to invest in other sports franchises, and I’ve turned it down in the past,” said Mickelson, a San Diego native. “This was a unique opportunity with families that had done this before and know how to do it right and want to get involved in the community.”

The group is led by four grandchildren of former Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley.

Retired Padres legend Tony Gwynn has endorsed a competing group, but Mickelson said he would seek the support of the Hall of Famer if his group prevails.

'If we were able to get control, (Gwynn) would be the first person we’d want to get involved,” Mickelson said. “He’s such an icon with the team. Hopefully, it won’t be combative.”

A price has not been set, but Mickelson figures to invest a significant amount. In 2009, the team fetched a price of $530 million.

Mickelson, whose on-course career earnings top $60 million and whose off-course income dwarfs that, believes the opportunity is worth it.

“Growing up, the Padres were my team and still are,' he said. 'I always had a love for the team. But (recently) I just felt disassociated with the organization a little bit as a fan. I just know I didn’t identify with the players or have an emotional connection. Where I want to get involved is I want to get a personal involvement with the players and the community -- personal interaction with fans, more community outreach. I want to create an emotional tie with the players and the community.”

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