Golf legend Phil Mickelson reportedly bet more than $1 billion on sports throughout three decades and tried to stake $400,000 on Team USA during the 2012 Ryder Cup, a tournament in which he played, as stated in a fresh autobiography by famed bettor Billy Walters.
"Phil liked to gamble as much as anyone I've ever met," Walters penned in "Gambler: Secrets from a Life of Risk."
He added, "Given Phil's financial status then, his betting habits didn't concern me. It's his prerogative to use his money as he sees fit. He's no stranger to placing large bets."
However, Walters recalled hesitating when Mickelson, who had recently inked a lucrative contract with LIV Golf valued around $200 million, phoned Walters during the 39th Ryder Cup from Medinah Country Club, proposing a $400,000 bet on the American team.
Walters recounted his reaction, "Have you gone mad? Remember Pete Rose? You're perceived as today's Arnold Palmer. Why jeopardize that? I'm staying out of this."
Furthermore, Walters mentioned that Mickelson's gambling losses approached $100 million, that he placed 3,154 wagers in 2011, and bet on 43 Major League Baseball matches in just one day.
Walters noted in his book, "Throughout my years, dealing with numerous associates, Phil's betting accounts ranked among the largest. Those accounts don't grow without staking huge sums."
Excerpts from Walters' narrative were shared by The Fire Pit Collective and Golf Digest. Simon & Schuster will unveil the full book later this month.
In 2017, a Manhattan federal jury found Walters guilty on ten counts related to insider trading, landing him a five-year jail term.
Regarding Dean Foods stock trades, both Walters and Mickelson faced scrutiny. Although Mickelson wasn't indicted, he repaid just over $1 million, funds the SEC claimed were profits from the stock.
Mickelson declined to bear witness in the subsequent insider trading trial against Walters.
Walters expressed in his book, "Phil Mickelson, globally renowned and someone I once called a friend, wouldn't confirm a basic fact he relayed to the FBI, a truth that could've spared me jail time. He knows I never disclosed insider stock info to him. All he needed to do was admit that. He didn't."
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