Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Mickelson Hints He's Considering Big Changes ; Golfer Offers No Specifics, but Says He Is a Target of Revised Income Taxes

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Mickelson Hints He's Considering Big Changes ; Golfer Offers No Specifics, but Says He Is a Target of Revised Income Taxes

Article excerpt

Phil Mickelson, who earned nearly $48 million last year, said he would "make some decisions" after saying his effective tax rate, as a California resident, is now more than 60 percent.

After a middle-of-the-pack finish in his 2013 debut, Phil Mickelson stood off the 18th green at the Palmer Private course at P.G.A. West and talked about having to make, in his own words, "drastic changes."

He was not referring to his equipment. Mickelson, already one of the highest-earning athletes on the planet, is not considering switching the clubs in his bag or the clothes on his back, the way the world No.1, Rory McIlroy, did last week after signing a lucrative endorsement deal with Nike.

On the day President Barack Obama was sworn in for his second term, Mickelson sent shock waves through the Humana Challenge when he said the political landscape in the United States was causing him to contemplate seriously his future in golf, but he did not give any specific details Sunday.

Mickelson, who will turn 43 in June, has 40 P.G.A. Tour victories, including four majors, and was inducted last year into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

"I'm not going to jump the gun and do it right away," he said after carding a six-under-par 66 to finish in a 10-way tie for 37th, "but 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."

As Mickelson spoke, the tournament was winding down to a scintillating conclusion. Brian Gay, who began the final round six strokes off the lead, closed with a nine-under 63 to end regulation tied with David Lingmerth (62) and Charles Howell III (64). He won with a short birdie on the second hole of the sudden-death playoff.

Finishing eight strokes out of the playoff was Mickelson, who played the final three rounds in 17 under par but could not climb out of the hole he dug for himself with a par 72 start at La Quinta Country Club.

Mickelson has more than $67 million in career earnings since turning professional in 1992. …

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