Golf: Phil Mickelson sorry for ‘insensitive’ comments
The four-times major champion hinted after last week’s Humana Challenge he was considering making “drastic changes” because of soaring federal and state tax rates but has since said he should have kept his thoughts to himself.
“This reminds me a lot of Winged Foot in 2006, where I hit a drive way left off the tents,” Mickelson told reporters ahead of this week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
“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.”
Mickelson led the 2006 US Open by two shots with three holes remaining, but fell back into a three-way tie for second after an aggressive approach at the last led to a double-bogey.
The American left-hander had hit the roof of a hospitality tent with his drive on 18, then bounced backwards off a tree with a 3-iron for his second shot on the way to a closing 74.
“Seven years later, I realised I should have just wedged back,” a smiling Mickelson said of his second shot on the final hole. “I could have tried to make a par from the fairway, and maybe made a bogey and at worst be in a Monday play-off.
“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 US 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 added, again apologising for venting his feelings about soaring tax rates for millionaires in his native California.
One of the most popular figures in the game, Mickelson signs more autographs for fans than most of his peers but he accepts that the comments he made on Sunday after he tied for 37th place at the Humana Challenge were, at best, polarising.