Phil Mickelson has wagered more than $1 billion over the past three decades and wanted to bet $400,000 on the 2012 Ryder Cup while playing for Team USA, according to a much-anticipated book by famed player Billy Walters.
Mickelson denied betting on the Ryder Cup.
“While I am known to always enjoy a friendly bet on the course, I would never compromise the integrity of the game,” Mickelson said in a statement Thursday.
The astonishing betting estimates Walters provides — from his own detailed file and from what he describes as two reliable sources — are detailed in a quote of Walters’ book, “Gambler: Secrets from a Life of Risk.”
The book is scheduled to be available on August 22. Fire Pit Collective received the quote.
Walters is widely regarded as America’s most famous gambler who claims to have a winning streak of more than 30 consecutive years.
He said he ended his betting partnership with Mickelson in 2014. Two years later, Walters was indicted in an insider trading case that in part involved stock tips prosecutors said he illegally passed to Mickelson. Mickelson was never charged, but had to pay back about $1 million he made from a stock deal. Walters was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. He claims he could have avoided prison if Mickelson had told the “simple truth.”
Walters said he never told Mickelson he had inside information about Dean Foods stock and believed Mickelson could have helped him by testifying.
“All Phil had to do was say it publicly. He refused,” Walters wrote. “The outcome cost me my freedom, tens of millions of dollars, and heartbreak that I still struggle with every day. While I was in prison my daughter killed herself – I still believe I could have saved her if I had been out.’
Walters said Mickelson told him he had two offshore accounts and that Mickelson had limits of $400,000 in college games and $400,000 in the NFL.
He said based on his detailed record and additional records provided by sources, Mickelson’s gambling between 2010 and 2014 included:
— Wagering $110,000 to win $100,000 on 1,115 occasions and betting $220,000 to win $200,000 on 858 occasions. That alone comes to just over $311 million.
— Mickelson in 2011 made 3,154 bets for the year and on one day (June 22) placed 43 bets on Major League Baseball games that resulted in $143,500 in losses.
— Placed 7,065 bets on football, basketball and baseball.
“Based on our relationship and what I have learned from others since then, Phil’s gambling losses were nowhere near $40 million as previously reported, but much closer to $100 million. In total, over $1 billion has been wagered in total over the past three decades,” Walters wrote.
“The only other person I know who has overcome this tumor is me.”
In his statement, Mickelson said he was open about his gambling addiction. In interview in Sports Illustrated last year, Mickelson referred to it as “reckless and embarrassing.”
“I’ve previously expressed remorse, I’ve taken responsibility, I’ve gotten help, I’ve been fully committed to treatment which has had a positive impact on me and I feel good about where I’m at now,” Mickelson said.
Walters said they first met at the 2006 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and formed a betting partnership two years later.
The most impressive for Walters, he writes in the excerpt, was a phone call from the 2012 Ryder Cup to Medinah. He said Mickelson was so confident he asked Walters to bet $400,000 on him winning for the US.
“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” Walters wrote. “Have you lost your (expletive) mind? I said to him, “Don’t you remember what happened to Pete Rose?” Former Cincinnati Reds manager banned from baseball for betting on his own team. “They see you as a modern-day Arnold Palmer,” I added. “Would you risk all of this for this?” I don’t want any part of it.”
He said Mickelson replied, “Okay, okay.”
“I have no idea if Phil placed the bet elsewhere. Hopefully he came to his senses,” Walters wrote.
Europe rallied from a 10-6 deficit on Sunday, making the longest comeback by a visiting team. Mickelson and Keegan Bradley won three straight matches before Mickelson urged US captain Davis Love III to rest them on Saturday afternoon. Mickelson lost his singles match to Justin Rose, a pivotal moment in Europe’s comeback.
Rory McIlroy, at odds with Mickelson about the gap between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, couldn’t resist a dig at Lefty about the book’s claims.
“At least he can bet on the Ryder Cup this year because he won’t be a part of it,” McIlroy said Thursday in Memphis, Tennessee, at the FedEx St. Louis Championship. Jude of the PGA Tour.
The PGA Tour suspended Mickelson in early 2022 for helping Saudi-backed LIV Golf recruit PGA Tour players. He signed with LIV for a bonus reported to be over $150 million.
Walters was so successful with the gambling operation that bookies often limited the amount of his bets. He would work with others who had greater limits. He wrote that his partnership with Mickelson was a 50-50 split.
“In all the decades I’ve worked with partners and beards, Phil had accounts as big as anyone I’d seen,” Walters wrote. “You don’t get these types of accounts without betting millions of dollars.”
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