Phil Mickelson soothes ruffled reaction to tax comments:
After his post-round comments Sunday about "drastic changes" in light of new tax laws lit a spark in the blogosphere and social media, Phil Mickelson issued a statement Monday through his hometown (at least for now) San Diego Union Tribune.
“I know I have my usual pre-tournament press conference scheduled this week but I feel I need to address the comments I made following the Humana Challenge now,” Mickelson said in the statement.
“I absolutely love what I do. I love and appreciate the game of golf and the people who surround it. I’m as motivated as I’ve ever been to work on my game, to compete and to win championships.
“Right now I’m like many Americans who are trying to understand the new tax laws. I’ve been learning a lot over the last few months and talking with people who are trying to help me make intelligent and informed decisions. I certainly don’t have a definitive plan at this time, but like everyone else I want to make decisions that are best for my future and my family.
“Finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public. I apologize to those I have upset or insulted and assure you I intend not to let it happen again.”
His original comments after finishing the Humana Challenge are here:
Q. When you're asked about Stricker's semi‑retirement, with the political situation the last couple months, blah, blah, blah, what did you mean by that? Do you find it an unsettling time in a way?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, it's been an interesting offseason. And I'm going to have to make some drastic changes. I'm not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes.
Q. Meaning leaving from California?
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm not sure.
Q. Moving to Canada?
PHIL MICKELSON: I'm not sure what exactly, you know, I'm going to do yet. I'll probably talk about it more in depth next week. I'm not going to jump the gun, but there are going to be some. There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and, you know, it doesn't work for me right now. So I'm going to have to make some changes.
Q. Is that a correlation between that and what happened to the Padres?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah.
Q. With you?
PHIL MICKELSON: Absolutely.
Q. So why do you say next week? What is going to happen so drastic next week?
PHIL MICKELSON: No, but I'll probably be in the media center and I'll probably be a little more open to it because San Diego is where a lot more things, it's where I live, it's where the Padre thing was a possibility, and it's where my family is. And it just seems like a better fit than right here off of 18 on Palm Springs.
Q. Is it a stance that you are taking because on the one hand, you've made a lot of money, and no matter how much they take out, you are left with a lot of money?
PHIL MICKELSON: Yeah. I'll probably go into it more next year or next week. But if you add up, if you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate's 62, 63 percent. So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do.
Q. How do you balance that against the TOUR's retirement plan which by all standards is the best retirement plan in sports?
PHIL MICKELSON: I don't understand. What do you mean?
Q. Well, I mean I understand the 60 percent part of the equation, but in the TOUR's plan, you guys put about as much money aside as you want. It's treated differently under tax laws than most anybody else's tax plans. Where most people can only put away $45,000 or $50,000, you guys can put as much away as you want. And so at the end you guys end up with a much larger pot of gold than most people can.
PHIL MICKELSON: But when it comes out, it's still taxed at the same 62 percent rate.
Q. Well, you're still making that kind of money. That's if you're still in that bracket.
PHIL MICKELSON: (No response.)