A year ago, Phil Mickelson was winning the PGA Championship and appeared to be back on top of the golf world. Now, he’s in the midst of a PR nightmare, seemingly ostracized from the PGA, and dealing with impeding bombshells about his character and habits.
We already knew that, according to longtime golf writer Alan Shipnuck’s upcoming book, Mickelson lost over $40 million due to gambling between 2010 and 2014. Now comes word of another impending book that could damage Lefty’s credibility even further. According to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and Kevin Van Valkenburg, Mickelson is said to be “concerned” about an upcoming memoir from sports gambler Billy Walters, co-written by Armen Keteyian.
As damaging as the excerpts of Shipnuck’s book were to Mickelson’s reputation — there were additional allegations that he lost more than $40 million gambling from 2010 to 2014 — people close to Mickelson say he’s more concerned about another upcoming book. [Billy] Walters’ memoir, which is being co-authored by journalist Armen Keteyian, will be released sometime next year. In 2017, Walters was convicted of 10 counts of conspiracy, securities fraud, and wire fraud. Federal prosecutors alleged Walters illegally made $40 million while trading Dean Foods stock from 2008 to 2015. He was released from prison in April 2020 and was granted clemency by former U.S. President Donald Trump in January 2021.
Darren Rovell laid out the situation further, saying that Walters blamed Mickelson for his five-year prison sentence, saying in 2017 of the golfer, “here is a guy that all he had to do was come forward and tell the truth?… The guy wouldn’t do that because he was concerned about his image. He was concerned about his endorsements.”
Mickelson isn’t playing in this weekend’s PGA Championship, possibly due in part to his desire to play in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series. But there are sure to be a lot of people talking about him and what else might come out about the once-respected golf champion.
One thing I’ve been thinking about all morning in regards to Phil: What if he *had* shown up to the PGA?
I would bet the reaction would have been … pretty forgiving! Especially from a lot of fans.
So why did he decide to skip? https://t.co/7OHE1dEBqg
— Kevin Van Valkenburg (@KVanValkenburg) May 16, 2022
Good piece https://t.co/Oxw86MwZzQ
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) May 16, 2022
I'll read Billy Walters' book the day it comes out. The Phil Mickelson stuff obviously fascinating, but dude has to have a ton of unreal stories. https://t.co/q8CPUIu0Vp
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) May 16, 2022
Some of the quotes in here are wild. https://t.co/btTwNbgT4b
— Kyle McCarthy (@kylejmccarthy) May 16, 2022
— Drew Zlogar (@Drew_Zlogar) May 16, 2022