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Phil Mickelson releases half-hearted apology for being honest about hating new tax hikes

Unlucky, Lefty.

Phil Mickleson: PR mistake.
Phil Mickleson: PR mistake.
Image: Gerry Broome/AP/Press Association Images

JUST A DAY after Phil Mickelson said he needed to make “drastic changes” in his life because his tax rate was going through the roof, he is trying to walk back his comments.

He released a statement through his spokesman in which Mickelson apologises to anyone that may have been offended: “Finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public. I apologise to those I have upset or insulted and assure you I intend to not let it happen again.”

He meant what he said, which is, “If you add up, if you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate’s 62, 63%. So I’ve got to make some decisions on what I’m going to do.”

In other words, I think I’m getting hosed and I want to figure out how to fix that.

It sounds pretty terrible coming from the mouth of a guy who made an estimated $60 million last year, even though he only won one tournament. The idea that he’s going to be unhappy taking home $23m is offensive to many people. But, there are many people that agree with Mickelson. They think he’s being taxed excessively and are on his side.

He should have stuck by his statement. And explained it with more nuance this week at the PGA event in Torrey Pines.

But Mickelson, like many pro athletes, doesn’t want to upset anyone by revealing his personal beliefs. It’s a lot harder to sell stuff if people don’t like him.

Here is the full statement, via Golf Channel:

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.

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