Mickelson prepared to make 'drastic changes'

Phil Mickelson
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On Sunday, Phil Mickelson said he's going to make some, "drastic changes," this year.

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, January 21, 2013 | 8:47 a.m.

Phil Mickelson is no stranger to making headlines on the golf course. But, the headlines he made at PGA WEST on Sunday following the final round of the Humana Challenge had nothing to do with the way he played.

Mickelson vowed to make "drastic changes" in his life because of the federal and state taxes he is paying, and he confirmed that his decision to not buy an interest in the San Diego Padres was directly related to his financial situation.

Tod Leonard of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports:

"I'll probably talk more in depth next week (at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines). I'm not going to jump the gun," Mickelson said. "There are going to be some drastic changes. I happen to be in the (tax) zone that is targeted both federally and by the state, and it doesn’t work for me right now."

Mickelson, 42, was responding to a question about why, in a conference call last Monday, he referred to “what’s gone on the last couple of months, politically,” when talking about the semi-retirement of fellow tour pro Steve Stricker.

"I think we're all going to have to find things that work for us," Mickelson said on the call. "I think we're all going to have our own kind of way of handling things, handling time in our career, handling what's gone on the last couple of months politically. I think we're all going to have to find things that work for us."

Asked if there was a correlation between his views and his withdrawal from interest in the Padres, Mickelson said, "Yeah, absolutely."

So what prompted Mickelson's comments?

In November, California voters approved Proposition 30, which imposed a 13.3 percent tax rate for incomes of more than $1 million -- a percentage increase of 29.13 percent over the previous "millionaires" tax of 10.3 percent.

As of June 2012, Forbes Magazine ranked Mickelson as the seventh-highest paid athlete in sports, with on-course earnings and endorsements totaling $47.8 million.

"If you add up all of the federal and you look at disibility and unemployment and the social security and the state, my tax rate is 62, 63 percent," Mickelson said Sunday. "So I've got to make some decisions about what I'm going to do."

The options for Mickelson would seem to be to move to a state with lower taxes or go into some form of retirement.

Time will tell, but it would seem fans will have little sympathy for Mickelson.

To read Leonard's entire report, click here.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.




Phil ignores the historical low rates which have benefited his after tax income for a decade. Be grateful for your success and opportunity provided by golf in the USA. You are a student of our nation's fiscal issues - so be willing to sacrifice as that is what we all must do to to right the ship.


I used to respect Phil; but its hard to respect crybabies who have stretch the truth to make a point. Phil's complaint about having all of those other taxes like social security and "disability" (like that's something different from SS) is pure bunk. Social Security is paid only on the first $110,100.00 of income. That's on all of mine (self employed - 15.3%, then I pay federal and state income taxes), and probably all of yours, but effects only a miniscule portion of Phil's income. I'd therefore wager that I pay a higher tax rate on my self employed income than Phil does on his millions. I realize that in some circles making up facts for the alternate factual universe is not only allowed, but encouraged, however some of us still depend upon real, actual facts, as opposed to convenient spin. Nice try Phil.


No one should be subjected to the tax rates established by the Democrats. I hope he does get the hell out of California. They add nothing to the economy and rape their citizens.


I guess netting only $20 million per year for playing a game and shilling golf equipment and pharma products isn't quite enough for Phil. Who cares the average income is in the $33.2 K / year range and more than 12% (many of them kids) live under the poverty line? Play on Lefty.