Phil’s Taxes…Wrong Place, Wrong Time
by Jeff Skinner
It’s amazing how the Big Dawgs can always steal the spot light. This weekend there were three great finishes in tournaments with two going to playoffs. On the European Tour,eventual winner Jamie Donaldson snuck into the lead and had to watch as potential tying putts by Justin Rose and Thorbjorn lipped out on eighteen.
Scott Stallings blew a chance at The Humana Challenge with a water ball on eighteen and missed the playoff by a stroke. Three players were tied at -25 and Brain Gay outlasted David Lingmerth and Charles Howell III for his fourth PGA Tour win.
At the inaugural 2013 Champions Tour event, John Cook came from two shots back to tie David Frost and then closed it out on the second playoff hole at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
Three tournaments, three exciting finishes but what’s the headline of the day? Phil Mickelson grousing about his tax status in California.
Now, I am a Mickelson fan. I admit I was late to the party but I have come to appreciate Phil’s game and his life away from the course but I have a small issue with Philly Mick bitching about his tax bracket from this particular forum.
Phil has never been shy about sharing his opinions on any subject. And it was in response to a question but still, this kind of discussion has no place in a post round interview during the final round of a PGA Tour event.
Q. When you’re asked about Stricker’s semi‑retirement, with the political situation the last couple months, blah, blah, blah, what did you mean by that? Do you find it an unsettling time in a way?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it’s been an interesting offseason. And I’m going to have to make some drastic changes. I’m not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes.
Q. Meaning leaving from California?
PHIL MICKELSON: I’m not sure.
Q. Moving to Canada?
PHIL MICKELSON: I’m not sure what exactly, you know, I’m going to do yet. I’ll probably talk about it more in depth next week. I’m not going to jump the gun, but there are going to be some. There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and, you know, it doesn’t work for me right now. So I’m going to have to make some changes.
Phil went on to complain about his “62-63%” tax bracket and say he would discuss it next week at Torrey Pines but he was out of bounds.
I don’t care what Phil makes, approximately $45 million last year, or what he pays in taxes but I can understand his issue with forking over that much to Uncle Sam and Jerry Brown. But not here, not now.
If Phil wants to take his case to the public and throw some dirt at Obama and Brown do it somewhere else. A post round press conference isn’t the place and Phil knew that as he said he would talk about it next week. He should have not commented on this situation as players were still on the course finishing the Humana Challenge. It was a disservice to the tournament, the sponsors and those guys out there trying to win a tournament.
It was wrong for him to upstage the Humana and totally out of character for Phil who is one of the truly good guys. Maybe he’ll reflect on his rant and realize just how wrong it was. He’ll next address the press on Wednesday at his pre-tournament press conference at the Farmers Insurance Open in his hometown of San Diego. He should start with an apology.