Phil Mickelson’s latest controversy has caught the attention of one of golf’s biggest other stars — Rory McIlroy.
On Thursday, an excerpt of Billy Walters’ book, “Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk’’ was published on the Firepit Collective, which delivered a bombshell charge that the 53-year-old Mickelson, a notorious bettor, told Walters to place a $400,000 bet on the United States to beat Europe in the 2012 Ryder Cup.
McIlroy — who shot a 3-under 67 on Thursday in the first round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship (the first of three consecutive FedEx playoff events) — couldn’t resist commenting on the situation.
Jordan Spieth, who shot a 7-under 63, leads by a stroke after the first round.
“At least he can bet on the Ryder Cup this year because he won’t be a part of it,” McIlroy told reporters.
Mickelson, who is playing in a LIV event this weekend in Bedminster, N.J., delivered a statement vehemently denying the allegation.
“I never bet on the Ryder Cup. While it is well known that I always enjoy a friendly wager on the course, I would never undermine the integrity of the game,” he said.
“I have also been very open about my gambling addiction. I have previously conveyed my remorse, took responsibility, have gotten help, have been fully committed to therapy that has positively impacted me and I feel good about where I am now. “
This wasn’t the first time the 34-year-old McIlroy has taken a dig at Mickelson, a six-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Famer.
In the finale of the Netflix series “Full Swing,” a show that followed some PGA Tour stars during the 2022 golf season, McIlroy took a jab at LIV’s most notable signing.
While undergoing treatment in the physio room, McIlroy, who has won four majors, was talking about Bills quarterback Josh Allen and his being a fan of the PGA Tour before adding that Allen is a Mickelson fan, “So I don’t know.”
Someone can be heard responding, “Sounds like the guy is losing credibility!”
With everyone laughing, McIlroy let loose, “F–k you, Phil,” before adding that he hoped that quote made the cut in the show, which it did.