He’s got to pay higher taxes, he had trouble making the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open, his pet’s heads are falling off! Phil Mickelson’s tough week got a little tougher today as he struggled on the South Course at Torrey Pines. Mickelson shot a -1 under par on day two after opening with an even par round, and is currently 10 strokes off the lead pace set by Tiger Woods.
Mickelson’s week started poorly when he made a comment about his increasing tax rates and how that could affect everything from his golf schedule to his mailing address. There was a fast and furious backlash to the tax comments, knocking Mickelson for being insensitive because he would dare complain about how much of his income is being taken by the State and Federal government. Even though Phil had a valid point, and has every right to be frustrated, either publicly or privately, we Americans don’t respond well to complaints from those we perceive to be more fortunate.
Once the tax backlash hit Mickelson and his golden boy image, he got what we can only assume was a first class ticket on the apology train. Despite the high tax rates, we know Phil doesn’t do coach. The apology-fest was annoying on two levels. To start, he didn’t say anything offensive or insensitive, and really his only mistake may have been to overstate the tax percentages he was actually going to have to pay. He also missed a golden opportunity to hold a press conference where his sole argument could have been, “We talkin’ bout taxes, not the game, not the game, but taxes?!” Sigh, maybe it would have been too good to be true, we’ll never know.
Well, at least Phil has golf, right? This whole tax rate issue could have been water under the bridge that Mickelson’s taxes probably helped fund if he had gone out and blown up Torrey Pines. After two rounds of golf, that hasn’t happened. Mickelson is at -1 under par for the tournament after two rounds, sitting 10 strokes behind the leader after barely making the cut. This is the second straight weekend that Mickelson has had to fight to get past the cut line.
Maybe the tax issue really is weighing on Mickelson’s mind. Maybe he would have been better served to get the issue off his chest, stand his ground, and come into the Farmers Insurance Open with a clear mind. Instead, he is toiling around par, while his rival, and resident of the no state tax Florida, is currently living it up at the top of the leaderboard. The weekend will bring an opportunity for Mickelson to find some good fortune, of which slightly over half will be taken away, though he certainly won’t be mentioning that again.