An online retraction has been posted and a Golf.com column by Michael Bamberger removed that suggested jailed gambler Billy Walters “was, court documents make clear,” Phil Mickelson’s “bookie.”
On June 17, 2018, GOLF.com published an article with the headline “It’s complicated: To understand Mickelson’s controversial actions, you must first understand Phil.” The article refers to Billy Walters as Phil Mickelson’s “bookie,” the accuracy of which Walters disputes. The court records referenced in the article do not specifically refer to Walters as Mickelson’s “bookie” and GOLF.com has not been able to substantiate the claim. GOLF.com has removed the article and retracts the reference to Walters.
Of course, Walters merely offered stock advice that turned out to get him in big trouble for insider trading. The former AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am winner is currently serving time and believes his “ex-friend” Mickelson could have exonerated him had he testified in the trial that ultimately sent Walters to jail.
The original Bamberger story can still be read via Google’s cache search option.
It’s been a tough start for the new owner of Golf Magazine and Golf.com, Howard Millstein, who also owns Nicklaus Design and quickly gave one of his companies a “Best U.S. Renovation” award, with a special story highlighting the accomplishment (a note explaining the relationship was later added to this online entry.)
A similar “holding company” tagline was also eventually added to this story on Miura irons posted at Golf.com, but well after eyebrows were raised at the lack of basic transparency.