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Mickelson Sorry For Public Airing Of Tax Issues

One concern for Mickelson was the fans. He is one of the most popular figures in golf, famous for signing autographs for up to an hour after just about every round. Asked about the prospect of alienating fans, Mickelson said, "I knew that would happen, and again, I should not have talked any type of politics or financial or taxation stuff publicly."

"I think that it was insensitive to talk about it publicly to those people who are not able to find a job, that are struggling paycheck to paycheck," Mickelson said. "I think that was insensitive to discuss it in that forum."

He didn't apologize for what he said â¿¿ only that he said it.

"I shouldn't have taken advantage of the forum that I have as a professional golfer to try to ignite change over these issues," Mickelson said.

Mickelson is a three-time winner at Torrey Pines, his first one coming 20 years ago in his first full season as a pro. Along with being one of the most famous sports figures to come out of San Diego, he has been hired to redesign the North Course that is used for two days at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Golf, though, was an afterthought this week with Mickelson talking taxes, Tiger Woods returning for the first time in two years and players getting their first chance to meet together over the proposed ban on anchored putting strokes.

Mickelson doesn't expect any distractions for the week, perhaps because this isn't the first time his words have stirred the pot. It was 10 years ago this week when Mickelson had to apologize to Woods for saying in a magazine article that he was winning despite using "inferior equipment." It sounded even worse in 2003 because Mickelson had yet to win his first major.

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