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Phil Mickelson has denied betting on the outcome of the 2012 Ryder Cup, insisting: I would never undermine the integrity of the game.
Prominent gambler Walters claims that Mickelson would frequently bet at least $100,000 on sports matches including American football, baseball and basketball.
Walters, who was convicted and jailed for insider trading in 2017, further alleges that Mickelson gambled over $100million between 2010 and 2014 and a total of $1billion across three decade.
In a claim that is sure to alarm golf’s powers-that-be, Walters says that Mickelson called him from Medinah ahead of the 2012 Ryder Cup and asked him to place a $400,000 bet on his behalf for the US team to win.
“He was feeling supremely confident that the American squad led by Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, and Phil himself was about to reclaim the Cup from the Euros,” wrote Walters, who added that he refused to place the bet but couldn’t be sure whether or not somebody else had done so on Mickelson’s behalf.
Speaking from New Jersey where he is competing in this week’s LIV Golf Bedminster event, Mickelson rebuffed those allegations.
“I never bet on the Ryder Cup,” he told Sports Illustrated. “While it is well known that I always enjoy a friendly wager on the course, I would never undermine the integrity of the game.
“I have also been very open about my gambling addiction.
“I have previously conveyed my remorse, took responsibility, have gotten help, have been fully committed to therapy that has positively impacted me, and I feel good about where I am now.”
Mickelson’s relationship with Walters has caused the left-hander no shortage of headaches in recent years.
In 2017, Walters was convicted of insider trading and imprisoned for five years. Mickelson found himself caught up in the controversy because of allegations that he received stock tips from Walters under the guise of using the profits to repay his Walters for his gambling debts.
The 53-year-old was never charged but was a relief defendant in the case and was made to pay back more than $1million plus interest he made in the stock deal.
Ahead of the inaugural LIV Golf event near London in June 2022, Mickelson spoke with Sports Illustrated about his gambling, which he said got to the point of being “reckless and embarrassing”.
“I had to address it,” he added. “And I’ve been addressing it for a number of years. And for hundreds of hours of therapy. I feel good where I’m at there. My family and I are and have been financially secure for some time.
“Gambling has been part of my life ever since I can remember. But about a decade ago is when I would say it became reckless. It’s embarrassing. I don’t like that people know. The fact is I’ve been dealing with it for some time.
“Amy [his wife] has been very supportive of it and with me and the process. We’re at a place after many years where I feel comfortable with where that is.
“It isn’t a threat to me or my financial security. It was just a number of poor decisions.”
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