by Jeff Skinner
A smiling Phil Mickelson tried to put “Tax Gate” to rest yesterday. At his press conference before his hometown tournament at Torrey Pines Phil was his best self-deprecating self. He admitted his mistake in discussing his tax situation and called it dumb.
Some of the best quotes from the press conference:
“…this reminds me a lot of Winged Foot in 2006, where I hit a drive way left off the tents. So this happened to be way right, but way off the tents. You know, I’ve made some dumb, dumb mistakes, and, obviously, talking about this stuff was one of them.
Like Winged Foot, where I tried to carve a 3‑iron around a tree and get it up by the green, I make double bogey and lose the U.S. Open, I think I’m going to learn my lesson and take a wedge and get it back in play.
I made a big mistake talking about this stuff publicly, and I shouldn’t have done that.”
He went on, “My apology is for talking about it publicly, because I shouldn’t take advantage of the forum that I have as a professional golfer to try to ignite change over these issues.”
And then addressed why he’s apologizing,” I think that it was insensitive to talk about it publicly to those people who are not able to find a job, that are struggling paycheck to paycheck. I think that was insensitive to discuss it in that forum. So that’s why I issued a statement, because I shouldn’t have brought it up at all, and I didn’t want to wait until today.”
And finally when asked “Did you get any…What were you thinking?” Phil lamented,” Only from me and my family, coach, D.R., a bunch of emails, yeah. Of course I got “What were you thinking,” absolutely. Myself, sure.”
Phil speaks his mind and most times that not a bad thing but this was a huge misstep. He’s hoping this fiasco is put to bed so he can concentrate on winning this week.
If you are having trouble remembering any of Phil’s previous rants here’s a little cheat sheet thanks to the folks at Golf Digest.
*** After a scouting trip to Oakmont before the upcoming Open he complained that the rough was dangerous after he strained his wrist.
*** After winning the 2007 Deutsche Bank during the FedEx Cup playoffs he “expressed disappointment” with Tim Finchem for not considering Phil’s advice about the format. He promptly skipped the next playoff tournament.
*** During the groove controversy Phil exploited a loophole that let wedges with the banned grooves made prior to 1990 become a legal club. Phil put them in his bag and forced the issue.
*** When Rees Jones (The Open Doctor) made changes to another major championship course at the Atlantic Athletic Club for the PGA Championship Phil took him to the woodshed. A 265 yard par three prompted Phil to say that “modern architecture is killing the game.”
Phil is full of opinions and when he really wants to make a point he’s not shy about saying what he thinks and pushing the envelope.