Story behind Phil Mickelson leaving young PGA Tour pro hanging, 10 years in the making

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Michael Kim, a PGA Tour pro, took to Twitter to reveal a story a decade in the making about Phil Mickelson standing him up for dinner.By Savannah Leigh Richardson  Aug 10, 2023, 5:25pm EDT  1 Comment / 1 New

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Phil Mickelson, PGA Tour, Michael Kim

Phil Mickelson is in the headlines again after some jaw-dropping news went public on Thursday.

Fire Pit Collective published an excerpt from Billy Walters’ new book, Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk about Mickelson’s gambling habits. The amount of money Mickelson has lost is allegedly much larger than originally reported. Lefty has supposedly lost over $100 million in bets throughout his career.

After the news dropped, people in the golf world took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to tell their own Phil stories. PGA Tour pro Michael Kim has been around and seen plenty.

The former UCLA Bruin told his story about Mickelson from their interaction during his rookie season.


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“In 2013 I played the US Open at Merion, and on either Friday or Saturday we finished really late cuz of weather delays,” Kim wrote. “Phil and I were one of the last ones in the locker room. I had been given an exemption to the Greenbrier in a month and saw Phil was going to play. So I went up to Phil and asked for a practice round.”

“Phil being super cool says ‘I’m flying up Tuesday night, unfortunately… are you playing Bridgestone or British?’ (LOL) ‘No Phil I’m just playing Greenbrier (I’m 19 still in school Phil…) oh.. ‘then how about dinner?’ I go ‘oh wow yeah that sounds great! Phil: yeah leave me a note in my locker to remind me, let’s do it.”’

Kim was a young player looking for advice. He finished T17 at the U.S. Open and Greenbrier was the only other start he had.

Mickelson had a reputation for being an approachable guy. From the outside, he was the easygoing left-handed golfer that fans loved and fellow players valued. However, Kim didn’t get that to enjoy that experience.

“Greenbrier rolls around, I’m trying to think of what questions to ask him and what not, we confirm dinner Friday night… just so happens that Phil misses the cut and flew out right after,” Kim wrote. “He apologized and got a rain check… I’ve never brought it up to him because I don’t want to be that guy that goes, remember that promise you made 10 years ago?”

The 30-year-old golfer finished T38 at Greenbrier. Kim didn’t get his dinner, though. He held onto that story for 10 years. They eventually played together in an event, where Kim gave another stunning story about Mickelson, but this one stuck with him.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and on Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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