PGA superstar Phil Mickelson is teeing off today at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit for the very first time. Ahead of his inaugural stop in the Motor City, Mickelson isn’t happy with The Detroit News for a story it published on Tuesday about previously unreported gambling allegations linking Phil to a former “mob-connected” Detroit area bookie.
Phil’s lawyer told ESPN that nothing in the story is inaccurate, but they aren’t very happy about the timing.
“He didn’t say anything [in the story] that wasn’t true; I’m not complaining about that,” Glenn Cohen, Mickelson’s attorney, told ESPN. “But why? Why are you going to embarrass Phil Mickelson when he’s there to support your tournament and the charities it supports and the [PGA] Tour? Rocket Mortgage is a Detroit-based company. Phil has never played there before.
“I’m disappointed they would curiously pick this week to write an article about a bet that was made over 20 years ago and a jury trial that took place in 2007, where the guy who was convicted is dead and where the only purpose for this article is to embarrass Phil Mickelson.”
Mickelson placed a large bet with Detroit bookie DeSeranno and was never paid out.
Mickelson,is a known gambler, but he was not the subject of the investigation. As a federal prosecutor told The Detroit News:
“it is not a crime to be a bettor.”
“Phil and a bunch of his buddies back then were betting on sports, and Phil was the guy placing the bets,” Cohen said Tuesday, via The Detroit News. “They got this guy’s name and had no idea what his background was.
“The guy didn’t pay him. Phil says it was a significant amount. He never got paid, and that was it.”
“The bottom line is Phil wasn’t paid,” Cohen said, via ESPN. “The guy who took the bet turned out to be a crook and Phil didn’t know it. But it’s irrelevant. Whether this guy was the worst human being alive … what is the newsworthiness of this article now? There isn’t any.”
Mickelson picked up his 45th career PGA Tour win in May when he won the PGA Championship.
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