124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

The best Phil Mickelson gambling story that you'll read today

February 12, 2015

Phil Mickelson is known to be pretty open with his money: He's an extremely generous tipper, and he's notorious for never shying away from a good money match. It's all part of Phil's charm.

In the most recent issue of ESPN The Magazine, GolfDigest.com contributor Shane Ryan takes a deep-dive into the money-match culture on tour. It's a great piece and definitely worth reading in its entirety, not least for the various Phil Mickelson anecdotes. Like this one, when Phil reportedly enticed Nick Watney into a bet during a practice round at the 2010 British Open:

Phil proposed a simple stroke-play match, with the highest score paying the winner $1,000 and the middle man walking away scot-free. Watney, knowing the amount could easily increase with presses or novelty bets, told them he preferred to play for less. "They started calling me names that shouldn't be in print," he says. "So I gave in to peer pressure."

Watney lost-it was his first time playing St. Andrews-and Mickelson won. On the 18th green, Watney counted out $1,000 and handed it over with a word of congratulations. Mickelson grabbed the stack of cash, gave it a quick glance and handed it right back. "This is Britain," he told Watney. "I need pounds."

Watney stared at him, hoping it was a joke. It wasn't.

Gotta' love Phil.