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TheStreet Open House

Mickelson Sorry For Public Airing Of Tax Issues

For all the talk about the tee shot at Winged Foot, what cost him the U.S. Open was trying to hit 3-iron onto the green instead of playing out to the fairway and trying to get up-and-down for his par.

"I think I'm going to learn my lesson and take a wedge and get it back in play," Mickelson said, sticking with the golf analogy. "I made a big mistake talking about this stuff publicly, and I shouldn't have done that."

About the only thing missing from the Winged Foot story was a repeat of his most memorable line that day: "I am such an idiot."

He said that in so many words with several self-deprecating moments that concluded a bizarre early afternoon on a cloudy day at Torrey Pines. Mickelson stayed in his car with his publicist for nearly 40 minutes, as reporters waited for his press conference to begin and Golf Channel â¿¿ which televised it live â¿¿ bought time. He finally emerged from the car only to lean against the trunk for 20 minutes talking with his publicist and a PGA Tour media official.

"Just trying to gather my thoughts," he said.

Mickelson dodged several questions about whether he would leave San Diego or his thoughts on taxes, only ceding to the temptation one time when he said he has never had a problem paying his fair share of taxes.

"I don't know what that is right now," he said, "but I've never had a problem paying my fair share."

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said he wasn't aware of everything Mickelson said from the Humana Challenge â¿¿ "I didn't understand what it is I saw," he added â¿¿ but that he didn't seem overly bothered.

"Generally, people making decisions based on the tax rates in California on top of the federal tax rates is not a unique thing," Finchem said.

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