Busy week in the news for Phil Mickelson, right? And the first golf major is still about 10 weeks away!
Larry Dorman of PGATour.com had an interesting note buried in his column Tuesday. It dates back to his days when he was the Senior Vice President, Global Press and Public Relations at Callaway, which was recruiting Phil Mickelson in 2004.
Take it away, Larry:
The month before the Ryder Cup was to be played at Oakland Hills, he signed with Callaway, swayed by the company’s new golf ball and driver combination. The surprise signing and the proximity of the Ryder Cup combined to cause quite an uproar in the media.
Baseless rumors arose in some quarters, questioning Mickelson’s motivation for signing. When I say baseless, I mean totally unfounded, manufactured rumors alleging gambling debts that had no basis in fact. Mickelson did like to gamble at the time, but he had zero outstanding debts and his betting patterns — a stat that Vegas casinos keep — had him even, to slightly up. All the information was checked out by Callaway’s head of investigations, a former head of counterintelligence for the U.S. Army, and no evidence was found to support the claims, either of gambling debt or any other charge.
Notre Dame should have hired the guys at Callaway who dug into Mickelson’s background.