Mickelson takes back his tax comments . . well, sort of

While Phil Mickelson didn’t back off his main thrust of his comments on taxes and his future from his post-round chat with the media Sunday at the Humana Challenge, Mickelson has issued a statement saying he’s sorry he talked about the subject at all.

“Finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public. I apologize to those I have upset or insulted and assure you I intend to not let it happen again.” Mickelson said in a statement released by T.R. Reinman, media relations director for Lagardere Unlimited, which represents Mickelson.

Phil Mickelson says he won't be taking about taxes anymore (Wade Byars/The Desert Sun)

On Sunday Mickelson said he would be making some drastic changes in his future, hinted at both moving out of California and maybe even semi-retirement. He said he was in a zone (of income earners) who was being targeted, and that his tax rate with all taxes taken into consideration was about 62 percent.

Mickelson didn’t back away from those figures, or his sentiment, but he did soften his stance a bit in the statement.

“I absolutely love what I do.  I love and appreciate the game of golf and the people who surround it.  I’m as motivated as I’ve ever been to work on my game, to compete and to win championships.

“Right now, I’m like many Americans who are trying to understand the new tax laws.  I’ve been learning a lot over the last few months and talking with people who are trying to help me make intelligent and informed decisions.  I certainly don’t have a definitive plan at this time, but like everyone else I want to make decisions that are best for my future and my family.”

At the Humana Mickelson said concerns over taxes and his future had a direct bearing on his decision to become a minority partner in the San Diego Padres baseball team. Mickelson is expected to have his usual pre-tournament press conference Wednesday at the Farmer Insurance Classic in San Digeo, but don’t expect much more comment from him about taxes.