Check Out: An Untold Phil Mickelson Gambling Story With Fellow Professional

Published 06/23/2022, 6:30 PM EDT
Jun 14, 2022; Brookline, Massachusetts, USA; Phil Mickelson smiles from the ninth tee during a practice round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Mickelson’s lavish gambling obsession is popular among Golf fans. The betting stories of Mickelson are reignited very often. In his unauthorized biography written by publicist Alan Shipnuck, CBS Golf analyst Gary McCord shared a story of how he and Mickelson used to gamble when Lefty was still on the course waiting for his next shot while McCord was in the TV tower.

Phil Mickelson reportedly lost $40 million from 2010 to 2014 just by gambling. His addiction was mentioned in much detail in his autobiography ‘Phil: The Rip-Roaring (and Unauthorized!) Biography of Golf’s Most Colorful Superstar’ written by Alan Shipnuck.


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The book also contains one of the wildest gambling stories, which includes the former CBS Commentator Gary McCord. The peak level of Mickelson’s addiction to gambling can be envisioned in the story.

Phil Mickelson and Gary McCord bet in between rounds

Recently, the team of OutKick 360 podcast recalled the crazy story. Jonathan Hutton, who is a part of the podcast said, “Mickelson and McCord would actually bet on the round or on the actual hole Mickelson was playing while McCord was up in the tower (commentary box).”

17 Aug 2001: Phil Mickelson confers with his caddy Jim Mackay before teeing off on the 18th hole during the second round of the 83rd PGA Championship at the Atlanta Country Club in Duluth, Georgia. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Harry How/ALLSPORT

Hutton then begins telling the story by quoting Gary McCord as mentioned in the book. He quotes, “When I was in the TV tower every time Phil got my holes, Bones, his caddie, would look up to me and I would flash the odds.”

McCord then elaborates on the approach adopted by both men to place the bet. He said, “If Phil had a 15-footer, I’d flash three fingers, which meant the odds were three to one. If it was 60 feet, I’d give him two to one on a two-putt.”

The story also shows how Mickelson’s caddie Bones played a key role in the gambling activity, as he would then whisper the odds to Mickelson. Mickelson used to give his decision to McCord’s bet, after nodding the head for a yes or a no.

CBS stops Mickelson and McCord

McCord reveals he can’t even recall the number of times both men placed a bet in this style. However, the PGA Tour managed to find out about the unethical style of betting.


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Jan 27, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; Phil Mickelson acknowledges the crowd after a putt on the fourth green during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course – South Course. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports | REUTERS

Gary McCloud was further given disciplinary notice from CBS. As mentioned in the book, he said, “I can’t tell how many wadded up 20s I threw out of the tower until the Tour found out about it and I got a word from CBS I was no longer allowed to gamble with Phil while we were up in the Tower.”

It is astonishing to realize how both men could understand what each was conveying just through hand signs. Furthermore, Mickelson placing a bet in the middle of rounds only makes the story a lot better.


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Gary McCord was a technical advisor for the movie ‘Tin Cup in which he was seen gambling with Kevin Costner’s character ‘Roy. Maybe this is where McCord took inspiration from after all.

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Abdul Bari Khan

180 articles

Abdul Bari is a Golf writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Abdul is currently pursuing his Master’s in the same. With great affection for the world of sports, this avid golf lover turned to the course at a young age.