Maybank Malaysian Open - R4
Player Score H
L Westwood -16 11
D Willett -12 12
A Sullivan -12 11
J Quesne -11 11
N Colsaerts -11 11
B Wiesberger -10 14
T Pieters -9 15
L Oosthuizen -9 12
R Karlberg -9 11
J Knutzon -8 15

Lefty set for drastic changes?

Last updated: 21st January 2013


Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson

High taxes in states like California are not the concern only of highly-paid US businessmen. One of the country's millionaire golfers is starting to feel the same way, it seems.

Phil Mickelson has hinted that he is being so squeezed for tax dollars by Federal and California tax increases, he might well make "drastic changes" to his lifestyle in the near future.

He is not saying right now what these changes will be - or when he is expected to make them.

But his disclosure last week that higher-than-acceptable tax rates in California had given him good reason to seriously look at where he was going had observers wondering whether he might be looking at pulling up his roots from a state where he was born and where he has lived for most of his life, or maybe even retiring from the sport of golf altogether.

Speaking after Sunday's final round of the Humana Challenge where he finished 37th, the 42-year-old, four-time major winner, told the media: "There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and, you know, it doesn't work for me right now. So I'm going to have to make some changes."

Mickelson was at pains to explain that he was not going to rush into anything and added that he would have more to say on the subject next week ahead of the Farmers Insurance Open, which would be played at Torrey Pines in San Diego, the Southern Californian city where he was born and spent much of his childhood.

'I'm not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes.

"If you add it up," he added, "all the federal taxes the disability and the unemployment and the social security, my tax rate is 62, 63 per cent. So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do."

It is perhaps a little ironic that Tiger Woods, an age old rival of Mickelson who for much of the past decade sat so firmly on top of the world rankings that he kept 'Lefty' pegged at No 2 in the world, should also be going through a period of his life when big off-the-course changes might also be on the way for him.

Indeed, it may be because of them that Woods missed the cut in Abu Dhabi last week.

He made it clear then that he was not prepared to talk to the media about some strong rumours which say he has been working hard at winning back his former wife, Elin Nordegren, and is even prepared to sign an anti-cheating pre-nup worth at least $200 million.

There have been reports that the 33-year-old Swedish beauty. who divorced him in 2010 after sensational revelations about a string of extra-martial affairs he was alleged to have engaged in, is holding out for $350 million which is said to be worth half of his fortune.

So Tiger, too, seems to have a lot on his mind right now and say what you like, situations of the kind worrying Woods and Mickelson can play havoc with a golfer's performance.

Woods' missed cut wasn't too costly in terms of his world ranking. He retained his No 2 spot when Justin Rose slipped out of the Abu Dhabi lead in the final round and finished second.

It was enough to push Louis Oosthuizen back into fifth place and take Rose back into fourth behind Luke Donald, but it was not enough to take Rose any higher.

Strangely enough, Mickelson didn't miss the cut at La Quinta, but his final 37th place did see him drop out of the World's top 20 into 22nd place.

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