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January 22, 2013

Phil Mickelson apologizes for tax comments

PhilA day after Phil Mickelson said he was considering "drastic changes" because of recent tax increases on the wealthy, the four-time major winner apologized for his comments.

(Live at noon: Debate Phil's tax comments and more in PGA Tour Confidential Live)

In a statement released by his spokesman, T.R. Reinman, Mickelson said, "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 to not let it happen again."

Mickelson made an estimated $60.8 million in 2012, according to SI.com, but he said Sunday that federal and California tax hikes had him considering a change. "I'm going to have to make some drastic changes," Mickelson said. "I'm not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes."

(Related Gallery: Phil Mickelson's Life in Pictures)

Did that mean he would move his family from his home state of California to a more tax-friendly state like Florida? Or could it mean he would play fewer tournaments and semi-retire, like Steve Stricker?

Mickelson said Sunday that he would elaborate on his plans during his scheduled press conference Wednesday ahead of this week's Famers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, which is near his home in Rancho Sante Fe., Calif.

But Lefty changed his mind and apologized. Here is Mickelson's full statement:

"I know I have my usual pre-tournament press conference scheduled this week but I felt I needed to address the comments I made following the Humana Challenge now.

"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 to not let it happen again."

(Related Article: How Mickelson betters the lives of a wide variety of people)

(Photo: Thomas Lovelock/SI)

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