McIlroy Takes Swipe At Mickelson Over Betting Speculation

Rory McIlroy couldn't help himself when asked about Phil Mickelson's supposed betting history

Rory McIlroy
McIlroy opened with a 67 in Memphis
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy's post-round press conference in Memphis was drifting to a close when he was asked about  Billy Walters' revelations about Phil Mickelson's gambling.

In 'Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk' Walters reveals that Mickelson gambled more than $1 billion on US football, basketball and baseball in the past 30 years but it was the suggestion that he tried to put on a $400,000 bet on the US Ryder Cup team to win at Medinah that was perhaps the most eye-catching.

Of course the left-hander was part of Davis Love III's side and he would lose his Sunday singles as Europe came from 10-4 down at one point to sneak the historic triumph.

When McIlroy, who opened with a three-under 67 in Memphis, was asked what his reaction was, he couldn't help himself.

“At least he can bet on the Ryder Cup this year because he won’t be a part of it,” McIlroy said with a laugh.

Cue headlines all over and another chapter was added to the McIlroy and LIV Golf digs. Perhaps this was the time to play a straight bat and brush the question away but that's not really the McIlroy way.

McIlroy had a dig at Mickelson in the final episode of the Netflix series 'Full Swing'. Footage shows McIlroy receiving a massage and discussing the Super Bowl when the conversation turns to Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and his love for the PGA Tour. After a few seconds, McIlroy interjects: “Yeah, but he’s a Phil Mickelson fan.”

The conversation continues before McIlroy grins and shouts, "F*** you Phil!" He then jokes that he hopes that line makes it the cut which it obviously did.

Mickelson has refuted the claims that he had any sort of bet on the US side to win at Medinah.

"I never bet on the Ryder Cup. While it is well known that I always enjoy a friendly wager on the course, I would never undermine the integrity of the game," he posted on X (Twitter). "I have also been very open about my gambling addiction. I have previously conveyed my remorse, took responsibility, have gotten help, have been fully committed to therapy that has positively impacted me and I feel good about where I am now."

Mark Townsend
Contributing editor

Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.