So Much For Being Nice. Phil Mickelson Tried To Help Detroit By Showing Up For Tourney, But Ends Up Agitated Over Old Gambling Story.

Phil Mickelson reacts after missing a putt on the ninth green during the final round of the Travelers Championship golf tournament at TPC River Highlands, Sunday, June 27, 2021, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Competing interests clashed in Detroit this week, with golf star Phil Mickelson at the forefront of 20-year-old gambling story.

The newspaper guy built his plan around drawing attention to his report; just good business, right? Simple.

Nothing simple about it, according to Mickelson and his attorney.

The Detroit News piece re-introduced the tale of Mickelson having ties with a bookmakers in organized crime circles.

The bookie is reported to have deceived Mickelson out of a half-million dollars in gambling winnings.

The writer, Robert Snell, laid out the story using the trial of Jack Giacalone, “a reputed organized crime leader in Metro Detroit,” according to the report. Don DeSeranno — whom newspaper article described as “one of the biggest gamblers in Detroit history” — said in the transcript he “couldn’t pay” Mickelson $500,000 after booking a bet for him.

It’s a true story, according to Mickelson’s attorney Glenn Cohen; it’s the obvious time hook that has caused all the angst.

“The bottom line is Phil wasn’t paid,” Cohen said via ESPN. “The guy who took the bet turned out to be a crook and Phil didn’t know it. But it’s irrelevant … what is the newsworthiness of this article now? There isn’t any.” 

Mickelson, at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, says he won’t be coming back.

“I feel that Rob Snell made an article this week that was very opportunistic and selfish and irresponsible,” Mickelson said Thursday after the first round of the tournament at Detroit Golf Club.

Mickelson said he wouldn’t otherwise have played this week but wanted to give this tourney a lift.

“It was so much effort for me to be here and to have that type of unnecessary attack — not like I care; it happened 20-something years ago — but it’s just the lack of appreciation,” Mickelson said. “Yeah, I don’t see that happening. I don’t see me coming back.”

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please hover over that comment, click the ∨ icon, and mark it as spam. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.