Sunday, May 28

Sports Digest: Report: Mickelson had $40 million in gambling losses in a 4-year period


Federal auditors investigating Phil Mickelson’s role in an insider trading scheme found his gambling losses totaled more than $40 million from 2010 to 2014, according to an excerpt from Alan Shipnuck’s forthcoming biography.

Shipnuck posted the excerpt on his “Firepit Collective” site Thursday. His unauthorized biography on Mickelson is to be released May 17 during the PGA Championship. Mickelson is the defending champion. He has not said if he will be playing.

Mickelson has been out of public view since the final round of the Saudi International on Feb. 6. A short time later, Shipnuck posted explosive comments from Mickelson on his involvement in Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed golf venture.

Mickelson dismissed Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, including the killing of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi, by saying it was worth getting involved with the Saudis if it meant gaining leverage to get what he wanted from the PGA Tour.

Mickelson was a relief defendant in 2016 in the insider trading case that sent noted gambler Billy Walters to prison.

Walters since has been released and has said he is writing a book.

In the most recent excerpt on the $40 million in gambling losses, Shipnuck wrote that government auditors investigated Mickelson’s finances over four years from 2010 to 2014. The author cited a source with direct access to the documents.

Mickelson’s annual income in 2012 – the time of the Dean Foods stock deal that netted Mickelson nearly $1 million in one week – was estimated at about $48 million.

Shipnuck also said money was largely behind his split with longtime caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay in 2017. He wrote that Mackay left Mickelson after the Memorial that year over a series of “simmering grievances,” including hundreds of thousands of dollars in back pay. Shipnuck wrote more details on that would be in the book.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Thorbjorn Olesen shot a 6-under 66 to share the lead after the opening round of the British Masters at Sutton Coldfield, England, in his bid to end a four-year title drought and get his career back on track after a damaging court case.

Olesen’s last win was at the Italian Open in June 2018. He was suspended by the European Tour the following year after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman and being intoxicated on a flight following a World Golf Championships event in Tennessee.

Olesen was acquitted by a court in December after saying he had no memory of his behavior because he had been drinking alcohol and taking sleeping tablets. He said the case had a “devastating impact” on his career, having plunged down the ranking from his position at No. 62 at the time of the incidents.

Olesen birdied three of his first six holes and three of his last six holes in a bogey-free round after going out among the morning starters. He was tied for the lead with Ryan Fox of New Zealand.

Olesen and Fox were a stroke clear of three players – Hurly Long, Ashun Wu and Richie Ramsay.


WORLD CUP: FIFA has received 3 million ticket requests for the World Cup final in Qatar and high demand to attend some of its biggest group-stage games, even as issues linger about the tiny Persian Gulf nation’s ability to accommodate fans.

The data revealed to The Associated Press by FIFA shows there have been 2.5 million ticket requests to see Argentina play Mexico on Nov. 26 at the 80,000-capacity Lusail Stadium, and 1.4 million fans hope to see England face the United States the previous day at the 60,000-capacity Al Bayt Stadium.

A random draw will be used to allocate tickets for matches where the demand exceeds capacity.


MADRID OPEN: Rafael Nadal saved four match points before outlasting David Goffin in three sets to reach the quarterfinals.

Nadal needed more than three hours to win 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (9) in only his second match after an injury layoff.

Nadal’s 1,050th career victory came after Andy Murray withdrew from his match against Novak Djokovic because of a stomach illness.

With Murray’s withdrawal, Djokovic automatically advanced to the quarterfinals – his second of the year after losing the Serbia final last month. He had lost in his first match in Monte Carlo in his first tournament on clay this season.

Djokovic’s opponent will be 12th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz, who defeated qualifier Dusan Lajovic 7-5, 6-3.

In the women’s semifinals, eighth-seeded Ons Jabeur comfortably defeated qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2, 6-3 in just over an hour to advance to the final.


FORMULA ONE: Red Bull scored a victory even before the inaugural Miami Grand Prix weekend by landing another billion-dollar American company as a sponsor – a boon as teams scour the fertile U.S. commercial market that has gone mad for Formula One.

Hard Rock International, which is headquartered in Davie, Florida, about 10 miles from Hard Rock Stadium, announced a multiyear sponsorship deal with Red Bull as drivers arrived at the venue. The Miami Dolphins are hosting 85,000 people a day Friday through Sunday, when F1 will debut in Miami and race around the stadium in the first of two events in the U.S. on this year’s calendar.

NASCAR: William Byron has agreed to a three-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports that will keep him in the No. 24 Chevrolet through the 2025 season.

The 24-year-old Byron has two Cup Series wins already this season and four in his career. He made the playoffs for the third consecutive year in 2021 when he posted 20 top-10 finishes.

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