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Phil Mickelson apologizes for comments about California taxes 01.23.13 at 11:05 am ET
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Phil Mickelson apologized Monday for comments he made about possibly moving out of California due to high taxes. (AP)

Phil Mickelson said he regrets speaking publicly about his issues with California’s high taxes, but his reluctance to pay heavy taxes on the approximately $45 million he made last year is hardly a minority opinion in the golf world.

Mickelson said after his final round at the Humana Challenge on Sunday that he was in the income zone being “targeted both federally and by the state,” and that “changes” might be ahead for him, which most took to mean that he’d be moving away from his hometown of San Diego. On Monday, he apologized in a statement.

“Finances and taxes are a personal matter, and I should not have made my opinions on them public,” Mickelson said in the statement. “I apologize to those I have upset or insulted, and assure you I intend not to let it happen again.”

The new federal tax rate, plus California voting for Proposition 30 to increase taxes on the earnings over $250,000, contributed to total taxes that Mickelson said apply to more than 60 percent of his income.

Whether or not he moves, his displeasure for California taxes has already caused Mickelson to withdraw from the Padres’ new ownership group.

Many professional golfers live in Florida and Texas, which have no state income tax. Tiger Woods, who grew up in Southern California and went to Stanford, now lives in Florida.

“I moved out of [California] back in `96 for that reason,” Woods said Tuesday. “I enjoy Florida, but also I understand what he was — I think — trying to say. I think he’ll probably explain it better and in a little more detail.”

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Read More: PGA, Phil Mickelson, Rumor Mill,
Padres sell to Phil Mickelson, Fowler Group for $800 million 08.07.12 at 3:40 pm ET
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Phil Mickelson is part of a group that bought the Padres for approximately $800 million. (AP)

The Padres sold for approximately $800 million on Monday, ending months of negotiations.

Although it hasn’t been made official, as the deal still has to be approved by MLB owners, it’s expected that nothing will hold it up from going through. Current Padres owner John Moores agreed to terms with new controlling owner, investment banker Ron Fowler and the Fowler Group, which consists of PGA golfer Phil Mickelson, former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley, his sons Kevin and Brian and nephews Peter and Tom Seidler.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Moores said. “It’s on the agenda for the August meeting, and I’m optimistic that Commissioner [Bud] Selig and the other 29 owners will approve it.”

CBS Sports reporter Scott Reporter reported back in late June that the deal would be $800 million, which stood true. Moores originally sold the team for $525 million, but it was never approved, which forced him to re-open the bidding.

The Dodgers, which sold for approximately $2 billion to Magic Johnson and company recently, were of the part of the reason why the number jumped by $275 million, according to Moores.

“There’s no question that the market lifted in the last year,” Moores said. “A lot of that seems to be attributable to the new generation of TV contracts. I think that’s what drove the Dodgers value up so much. I don’t think will have any problems with the sale this time around. This one is so solid. I don’t foresee any outstanding issues.”

Read More: Fowler Group, padres, Phil Mickelson,
Golfer Phil Mickelson, former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley poised to buy Padres 07.11.12 at 3:41 pm ET
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Golfer Phil Mickelson reportedly is in line to become a part-owner of the Padres. (AP)

In 2003, Phil Mickelson attempted to earn a one-day contract with the Tigers by pitching batting practice for their Triple-A affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens. As you probably guessed, Mickelson was never offered that contract. Now, Lefty is poised to become the one offering the contracts instead.

FoxSports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the San Diego native and four-time majors champion is among a group of investors, led by former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley selected to purchase the Padres for an estimated $800 million.

The deal includes $200 million for a portion of the team’s equity stake in Fox Sports San Diego. According to Rosenthal’s source, the contractual terms are still being finalized and the deal has yet to be approved by the league, though both are expected to be completed within the next two weeks.

In a conference call on Monday, Commissioner Bud Selig told reporters he was thrilled about the likely return of the O’Malley family to baseball.

“San Diego fans and the club deserve a good ownership, great ownership, and assuming this deal goes through — and it hasn’t yet — so we’ll have to wait a little bit, but it’s great,” Selig said.

Mickelson’s stake was not made available, however, when his interest in the club became public back in May. Lefty told reporters, “Given the price tag, it’s going to be a significant amount.”

“Growing up, the Padres were my team and still are,” Mickelson told the San Diego Union-Tribune in May. “I always had a love for the team. But [recently] I just felt disassociated with the organization a little bit as a fan. I just know I didn’t identify with the players or have an emotional connection.

“Where I want to get involved is I want to get a personal involvement with the players and the community — personal interaction with fans, more community outreach. I want to create an emotional tie with the players and the community.”

Sports Illustrated’s estimate of Mickelson’s 2011 income — $61,185,933 — exceeds the Padres’ entire 2012 player payroll.

Read More: bud selig, Ken Rosenthal, Peter O'Malley, Phil Mickelson
Deutsche Bank Championship notebook: Phil Mickelson back in contention 09.04.11 at 10:34 pm ET
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After shooting an 8-under 63 in Sunday's third round, Phil Mickelson is right back in contention at the Deutsche Bank Championship. (AP)

NORTON — After struggling in the first two rounds of the tournament and making the cut on the number, Phil Mickelson went out and shot a 8-under 63 Sunday and is only four strokes off the lead entering Monday’s final round.

The round included six birdies and holing out for eagle on the par-4 12th from the rough about 165 yards out.

“It was a good ball-striking round,” Mickelson said. “It was one of the best I’ve had. Putting-wise the longest birdie I made was an eight-footer on 11 and  then the next was four feet on 10. I had a couple of two-putt birdies and tap-ins. Then I holed out on 12.

“I’m needing some adjustment still with getting the speed down with the long putter and so forth, but it’s been an interesting trial. But today I struck it as well as I have in a long time.”

This is the first week in his career that Mickelson has used a belly putter. He admits that he still needs more practice with it and is unsure of his plans for the remainder of the season.

“It didn’t go as well as I had hoped the first couple of days, but I don’t think — it’s something that I need to spend a little more time on and I will probably do that in the offseason,” he said. “It comes off at a different speed. It’s a lot heavier, so it’s taking some adjustment foam me on breaking putts. But on the straight putts it’s great because it seems to start the ball on line very easily.”

• Last year Jason Day finished the tournament in second place, five shots behind winner Charley Hoffman. He will enter Monday’s final round only two strokes off the lead.

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Read More: Deutsche Bank Championship, Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler
Deutsche Bank Championship: Bubba Watson leads, five players trail by one at 10:30 pm ET
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Bubba Watson leads the Deutsche Bank Championship after three rounds at 11-under par. (AP)

NORTON — There were three players tied for the lead at 10-under entering the third round at the Deutsche Bank Championship, but none of them could distance themselves from the field, which has created a packed top of the leaderboard after Sunday’s third round.

Bubba Watson was one of those players who entered the day at 10-under, and was the only player out of the three to shoot under par on Saturday. He shot a 1-under 70 and leads the tournament at 11-under. Five players trail Watson by one stroke, and then another five trail by two.

Charl Schwartzel and Adam Scott were the other two players to share the lead after the second round. Scott shot an even-par 71 while Schwartzel shot a 1-over 72.

“It’s always nice to be in the final group because then you know what everybody is doing,” Watson said. “You know what you’ve got to do. If you play slow enough, you’ll be two strokes back so then you know what you have to do. It’s a good position to be in. That’s where you want to be. Every week that’s what we try to do is get in the final group because that means you have a great chance on Sunday.”

The players who are one stroke behind Watson include Scott, who won the event in 2003, Jason Day, who finished second last year, Chez Revie, Brendan Steele and Jerry Kelly.

“I played pretty solid today,” Scott said. “I made some good saves on the front nine today and then the well kind of dried up on the back. I just couldn’t quite get the ball close enough. It was tricky and I didn’t want to risk too much. I put myself in the hunt. Hopefully I get them tomorrow.”

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Read More: Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Deutsche Bank Championship, Phil Mickelson
Deutsche Bank Championship notebook: Phil Mickelson switches to belly putter 09.02.11 at 6:44 pm ET
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Phil Mickelson used a belly putter for the first professional round of his career on Friday. He shot a 1-under 70. (AP)

NORTON — Besides Troy Matteson jumping out to the lead at the 2011 Deutsche Bank Championship, the biggest storyline of the day was Phil Mickelson switching from his normal length putter to a belly putter.

“I got off to a great start with it, making about a 10-footer on the first hole for birdie and then an eight-footer on the second for birdie,” Mickelson said. “I thought it went well. I feel that I’m probably putting better with that putter than I would be the short putter, so I’ll end up by using it the rest of the tournament I would anticipate. I don’t know if it is a short-term or a long-term thing, but it feels good.”

Mickelson shot a 1-under 70 and recorded 29 putts. He says that although it is brand new it feels good, he just needs to get used to it.

“Yeah, I feel pretty good with it,” he said. “I thought that I was starting them on line, and I’ve got to get comfortable with the speed and so forth. That’s a little different, but like I said I don’t know if it is short-term or long-term, but right now it feels good.”

After attending the Red Sox-Yankees game on Thursday night, Mickelson lost a bet and had to wear Yankee pinstriped pants as the Yankees beat the Red Sox, 4-2.

“Well, obviously I was on the Red Sox last night and lost a wager with a friend and had to wear these today. What can you say? I’ve got to suck it up and bear it.”

• New England native and PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley returned to his roots for the first time since last month’s major win. Playing in front of many family and friends, Bradley shot a 3-under 68.

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Read More: Deutsche Bank Championship, Heidi Watney, Keegan Bradley, Nick Watney
Deutsche Bank Championship: Troy Matteson leads after first round at 6:43 pm ET
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Troy Matteson leads by one stroke after the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. (AP)

NORTON — Ranked No. 97 in the FedEx Cup standings, Troy Matteson certainly made the most of being the third-to-last golfer in the field as he opened the Deutsche Bank Championship with a 6-under 65 to hold a one stroke lead after the first round. Only the top 100 players in the standings made the field.

“It was kind of interesting this morning warming up,” Matteson said following his round. “I would not have said if I could have kept it under 80, I would have been doing pretty good. It just was not that good of a warmup this morning. I bogeyed my first hole right out of the gate, and that didn’t really set the tone very well for the day. So, I looked at my caddie and said, ‘Look, we’ve just got to focus on making some birdies.’ ”

Matteson recorded seven birdies and only the one bogey for the day. This is his fifth appearance at the Deutsche Bank and was his best score in 15 rounds at the TPC Boston.

He said that he feels enjoys the city and surrounding areas of Boston and likes the comfortable September weather.

“You know, I’ve been coming up here for a while and I’ve got a friend out in Hyannisport, and he owns a restaurant out there,” Matteson said. “I get up here to fish a couple of tournaments a year. It’s just a nice place. This time of year the weather is perfect. The people are nice, I’ve got friends up here. It’s just a nice place for me to be.”

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Read More: Deutsche Bank Championship, Keegan Bradley, Luke Donald, Phil Mickelson
Deutsche Bank Championship: Five players to watch 09.01.11 at 9:35 pm ET
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Phil Mickelson enters the Deutsche Bank Championship ranked No. 9 in the world. (AP)

NORTON — The biggest names in golf have descended on Massachusetts this weekend for the Deutsche Bank Championship as a part of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup. The top 100 players in the standings have qualified, and after play is completed this weekend the top 70 will advance to the next stage of the Cup, the BMW Championship.

Some notable players in the field include PGA Championship winner and New England native Keegan Bradley, world No. 1-ranked player Luke Donald, four-time major winner Phil Mickelson, Worcester-born Scott Stallings and other big names such as Bubba Watson, Steve Stricker and Dustin Johnson.

Charley Hoffman is back to defend his title, as he won the 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship by shooting a 9-under 62 in the final round to win by five shots.

The first round begins Friday, with the final round set for Monday.

Here are five players to keep an eye on over the course of the week.

KEEGAN BRADLEY

Bradley should receive one of the the biggest crowd followings of the week as the New England native returns to his roots for the first time since winning the PGA Championship last month. He is ranked No. 29 in the World Golf Rankings and No. 14 in the FedEx Cup standings. He is coming off missing the cut in last week’s rain-shortened Barclays tournament. Bradley has played the course before, back in a high school match. He recalled earlier in the week he shot a 32 and beat his opponent by 20 shots over the nine-hole round.

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Read More: Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley, Phil Mickelson
Deutsche Bank Championship notebook: Defending champion Charley Hoffman looks to salvage season at 9:31 pm ET
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Charley Hoffman is back to defend the title he won at last year's Deutsche Bank Championship. (AP)

NORTON — Defending Deutsche Bank champion Charley Hoffman is looking to salvage his season in this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship. Hoffman has struggled with his game much of the year, as he only has two top-25 finishes all year — a second-place tie at the Valero Texas Open in April and solo second at last week’s Barclays.

“Yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s over,” he said Thursday. “You can make a season. I would say last year I was hurt for a long time with a wrist injury, so I felt like I was doing all right, but I came into this event feeling good, sort of like I feel now. I feel like I’m feeling some confidence.”

Hoffman fired a nine-under 62 in the final round last year to blow away the rest of the field and win by five shots. He called it the best round of his career.

“I definitely have never had a better round than that, especially under the circumstances I was in.” he said. “I didn’t have anywhere to go besides up. Going into Sunday I was playing good, but I can’t say I saw 62 happening when I was warming up earlier in the week.

The defending champion is excited about returning to Boston and playing a course that he loves.

“Obviously it’s a good feeling coming back to Boston,” Hoffman said. “The last time I left the media center I was pretty happy. So I got here Saturday early and stayed downtown, the came out to the golf course on Tuesday and played nine.

“It was remarkable how good a shape it was with the hurricane that went through here, the tropical storm. I played 18 yesterday, and the course is in as good of shape as it’s ever been, and it’s nice to see the superintendent cleaned everything up after all the wind and rain that came through here.”

Phil Mickelson played Thursday’s pro-am round with a belly putter and will most likely be playing with it this week. “Probably, yeah, probably,” he said Thursday after completing his round. “I was a little shady with it on the front nine, but a little bit better with it on the back. Look, I’m willing to — I don’t mind trying new things. I’ve hit two drivers and no drivers in Opens, and I don’t mind trying something different. We’ll see.”

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Read More: Carlton Fisk, Charley Hoffman, Danny Ainge, Deutsche Bank Championship
Deutsche Bank Championship: PGA rookie Keegan Bradley continues dream year at 8:17 am ET
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Keegan Bradley pumps his fist after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before Tuesday's Red Sox game. (AP)

NORTON — August was a month of major milestones for Keegan Bradley.

The Vermont native burst onto the national scene by winning the PGA Championship two weeks ago. And that allowed him the chance to fulfill two other dreams: meeting childhood idol Tom Brady and throwing out the first pitch at Fenway Park.

Talking with WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan after his PGA title, Bradley told of receiving a congratulatory text from Brady and of wanting to play a round of golf with the Patriots quarterback, which is in the works.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday night the diehard Red Sox fan took to the mound at Fenway prior to the Red Sox-Yankees series opener.

“Yeah, one of my dreams my whole life has been to be able to throw the first pitch at Fenway, and I got to realize that dream [Tuesday] last night in front of a bunch of my friends,” Bradley said Wednesday. “It was a strange feeling to be on the mound at Fenway, but it lived up to the hype. It is something I will never forget.”

Bradley admitted that his friends put some pressure on him before his ceremonial pitch.

“Well, talking to my buddies, they’ve said, ‘You better not bounce that thing in there,’ and I just didn’t want to bounce that thing in there,” he said. “I would give myself a B-minus. I’ve got Dustin Pedroia, who got down in a catcher’s stance. He’s kind of a small guy anyways, and it was a small target. But it was — I was afraid. I was so nervous that I was afraid I was going to do something embarrassing, so I was happy with it.”

Bradley has returned to New England this week for the Deutsche Bank Championship, part of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup. He is excited to be back close to home.

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Read More: Deutsche Bank Championship, Dustin Pedroia, Keegan Bradley, Phil Mickelson