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Phil Mickelson accused of placing more than $1 billion in sports bets

Phil Mickelson in golf gear

May 22, 2021; Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA; Phil Mickelson reacts on the first green during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Mickelson is well known for his affinity for sports gambling, but the latest accusation he is facing is a doozy.

Billy Walters, a sports bettor, has written a memoir that is set to be released later this month. An excerpt from the book, called “Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk,” was released on Thursday at firepitcollective.com and has information about Mickelson, who was an associate of Walters.

In the excerpt, Walters estimated that Mickelson had made over $1 billion in sports betting wagers over the past three decades.

“Based on our relationship and what I’ve since learned from others, Phil’s gambling losses approached not $40 million as has been previously reported, but much closer to $100 million. In all, he wagered a total of more than $1 billion during the past three decades,” Walters wrote in the book, according to the excerpt.

Walters says he and Mickelson met at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2006. They later formed a gambling partnership in 2008 that allowed Walters to place bets through Mickelson, who had higher account limits than Walters. The two split the profits 50/50.

The excerpt that was released included another bombshell: Mickelson called Walters in 2014 with a desire to bet on the Ryder Cup. Mickelson was one of the Team USA golfers and wanted to bet $400,000 on his team. Walters reminded Mickelson of Pete Rose and was able to talk the golfer out of placing the bets, though Walters is unsure whether Mickelson found other means of placing the bets.

The US collapsed that year and lost to Team Europe.

Mickelson released a statement on Thursday to address the allegation.

“I never bet on the Ryder Cup. While it is well known that I always enjoy a friendly wager on the course, I would never undermine the integrity of the game,” Mickelson wrote on his X account.

“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.”

Walters is the same person who was feeding Mickelson stock tips on Dean Foods. Walters ended up going to prison for his 2017 insider trading conviction, which was upheld in 2018. Mickelson had to pay back the money he made from trades involving Dean Foods plus interest, but he avoided charges because there was no proof he knew Walters was receiving information on the stock from illegal means.

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