Ron Green Jr.: Phil Mickelson could have done one of two things Wednesday when he talked to the media about the comments he made Sunday about the heavy tax burden that comes with making $50 million or so annually while living in California.
He could have made it worse or made it better.
Mickelson made it better.
He poked fun at himself for saying more than he should have after the final round of the Humana Challenge when he said he faces drastic lifestyle changes due to what he said was a 62 percent tax burden. Mickelson didn’t argue the numbers Wednesday. In fact, he didn’t argue anything, which was the right approach.
“I’ve made some dumb, dumb mistakes and, obviously, talking about this stuff was one of them,” Mickelson said.
He compared his mistake to his 72nd hole blunder that cost him the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot. Rather than compound his error as he did then when he tried a heroic recovery shot after a terrible tee shot at Winged Foot, Mickelson essentially pitched himself back into play Wednesday.
“I made a big mistake talking about this stuff publicly,” he said. “I shouldn’t have done that.”
He acknowledged how fortunate he and his family are, and understood the remarks were insensitive to people trying to find work. He said he believes in paying his fair share but said he’s not sure what that is right now.
He said he doesn’t know if he’ll move away from San Diego, where he was born and raised and where both he and wife Amy’s families live.
This time, Mickelson took a more careful, studied approach. He kept the details and the emotion out of it. He didn’t suggest he misrepresented his situation either.
Sometimes, Mickelson has apparently learned, it’s best to just get yourself back into play.