May 17, 2022 - Sports

Phil Mickelson biography hits shelves as he stays away from golf

The cover of "Phil" by Alan Shipnuck
Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Phil Mickelson was supposed to be at Southern Hills this week to defend his PGA Championship title. Instead, he's at home — and on bookshelves.

Driving the news: "Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized) Biography of Golf's Most Colorful Superstar," a new book by longtime SI writer and bestselling author Alan Shipnuck, is out Tuesday.

Why it matters: The highly anticipated book has already had a tremendous impact on its title character.

  • In February, Shipnuck shared comments from Mickelson about the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Tour, which he appeared to support despite the backers being "scary" and murdering journalists.
  • Those comments, which Mickelson claimed were made "off the record," ultimately cost him millions of dollars and damaged his reputation and his relationship with the Tour.
  • He didn't play in the Masters, where they had to deflect the idea that they'd asked him not to come. Now it's the PGA Championship's turn.

Excerpt: Mickelson's gambling habit is well-documented. Here's another story to add to the pile, courtesy of former CBS announcer Gary McCord:

"When I was in the TV tower ... every time Phil got to my hole, Bones [his caddie] would look up at me and I would flash the odds. If Phil had a 15-footer, I'd flash three fingers, which meant the odds were 3-1.
"If he was 60 feet, I'd give him 2-1 on a two-putt. Bones would go down and whisper in his ear and Phil would look up at me and shake his head, yes or no.
"I can't tell you how many wadded-up twenties I threw out of the tower, until the Tour found out about it and I got word through CBS I was no longer allowed to gamble with Phil while up in the tower."
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