AUGUSTA, Ga. – Phil Mickelson was working through a semi-serious practice round at Augusta National Tuesday in preparation for the Masters when he found his tee shot on the par-3 sixth hole wind up long and behind the green.
That's where he ran into a middle-aged male patron who wasn't afraid to dish out some good-natured smack talk to the three-time Masters champion.
"He was mouthing off about 'hard shot, get this up-and-down, no chance, blah, blah, blah,' " Mickelson said after.
Mickelson, who said his group's members were betting throughout the practice round, decided to throw some side action out there. He bet the patron a whopping $1 that he'd get his chip onto the green and then putt in for par.
Mind you, Mickelson has earned more than $80 million in his career, and tens of millions more in endorsements. He reportedly earned nearly $40 million total last year alone.
Still, this was as much for pride and pocket.
"It wasn't a hard shot," Mickelson said. "I should have gotten it up and down."
He chipped up onto the green and left himself a very makeable, up-hill seven-foot putt. Only it didn't go in.
"I missed it," he said.
So after tapping in for bogey, he walked behind the green and gave the patron a dollar.
"I had to pay him," Mickelson said. "That's what happens when you lose."
Actually, he didn't just immediately pay him. Mickelson said he didn't have any singles on him and had to borrow one from a caddie.
Don't feel bad for Mickelson that he lost a bet, and not just because he's rich. Tuesday was apparently a good day in golf wagering, he said, thanks to a match featuring he and Ricky Fowler against Dustin Johnson and Jason Dufner that was certainly worth more than a dollar. Much more.
"Rickie Fowler and I were partners today and he went on a tear," Mickelson said, laughing at his good fortune. "He shot 30 on the front nine; he eagles 13, he birdied 17 and 18, threw another one in on 15, I think. Just played remarkable golf.
"It was fun to have him as my partner," he said.
Then he smiled.
Lose one. Win many. It's always good to be Phil.
- Sports & Recreation