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Mickelson: I made a big mistake
Last updated: 24th January 2013
Phil Mickelson has apologised for comments he made regarding having to pay more state tax on his earnings.
The four-time major winner spoke out strongly against Californian state tax rises recently, saying it might prompt him to move elsewhere, but now admits the comments were insensitive.
Coming from a man with $67million (£42.3m) in career earnings and huge private sponsorship deals, many Americans reacted less than sympathetically.
"You know, I've made some dumb, dumb mistakes, and, obviously, talking about this stuff was one of them," Mickelson told the press ahead of the start of the Farmers Insurance Open, which is played at Torrey Pines close to his native San Diego.
"Like Winged Foot, where I tried to carve a 3-iron around a tree and get it up by the green, I make double bogey and lose the U.S. Open, I think I'm going to learn my lesson and take a wedge and get it back in play.
"I made a big mistake talking about this stuff publicly, and I shouldn't have done that.
"My apology is for talking about it publicly, because I shouldn't take advantage of the forum that I have as a professional golfer to try to ignite change over these issues.
"I should have talked about because I don't have a plan formulated yet on what I'm going to do. And when I do come up with a plan I'll be able to talk more about it publicly then. But I shouldn't have brought it up publicly and used this platform as a way to say what I had to say.
"I think that it was insensitive to talk about it publicly to those people who are not able to find a job, that are struggling paycheck to paycheck. I think that was insensitive to discuss it in that forum. So that's why I issued a statement, because I shouldn't have brought it up at all, and I didn't want to wait."
Mickelson was confident, however, that the fallout from his comments would not affect his chances at Torrey Pines this week.
"I've said some stupid things in the past that have caused a media uproar before," said Mickelson. "It's part of my life, and I'll deal with it. It's just part of the deal.
"One of the things I pride myself on is whatever it is I'm dealing with in my personal life, once I get inside the ropes, I need to be able to focus on the shot at hand and be able to focus on shooting a low score."
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