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Phil Mickelson Regrets Airing Opinion On Taxes

By DOUG FERGUSON

SAN DIEGO (AP) â¿¿ Phil Mickelson says he should have kept his opinions on taxes to himself.

Mickelson had suggested "drastic changes" were in store for him â¿¿ perhaps moving from his native California â¿¿ because of changes in federal and state taxes that he says tap into more than 60 percent of his income. He said it "absolutely" was a factor in deciding against becoming part of the San Diego Padres' new ownership group.

The four-time major champion didn't back away from his outlook, only his decision to talk about it.

"Finances and taxes are a personal matter, and I should not have made my opinions on them public," Mickelson said in a statement released late Monday night. "I apologize to those I have upset or insulted, and assure you I intend to not let it happen again."

Mickelson first made a cryptic reference to "what's gone on the last few months politically" during a conference call two weeks ago for the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. After his final round Sunday of the Humana Challenge, he was asked what he meant.

"There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state, and it doesn't work for me right now," he said. "So I'm going to have to make some changes."

Mickelson had said he would wait until his news conference Wednesday at Torrey Pines to elaborate.

"I know I have my usual pre-tournament press conference scheduled this week but I felt I needed to address the comments I made following the Humana Challenge now," Mickelson said in his 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.

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