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Phil Mickelson: Quitting golf over higher taxes?

Phil Mickelson has hinted at a move away from California, perhaps the United States, and maybe even away from golf as he seeks to escape punitive taxes. Phil Mickelson says that because of recent changes, he would pay a 62 percent rate on his taxes.

By John NicholsonAP Sportswriter / January 21, 2013

Phil Mickelson hits from a fairway on the fifth hole during the first round of the Humana Challenge golf tournament at the La Quinta Country Club in La Quinta, Calif. last week. Mickelson suggested that high taxes may prompt him to leave California, or the game of golf altogether.

Chris Carlson/AP/File

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La Quinta, Calif.

Phil Mickelson has hinted at a move away from California, perhaps the United States and maybe even away from golf as he seeks to escape punitive tax rates.

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"It's been an interesting offseason," Mickelson said Sunday after the final round of the Humana Challenge. "And I'm going to have to make some drastic changes. I'm not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes."

The 42-year-old said he would talk in more detail about his plans before his hometown Farmers Insurance Open, the San Diego-area event that starts Thursday at Torrey Pines.

"I'm not sure what exactly I'm going to do yet," Mickelson said. "I'll probably talk about it more in depth next week. I'm not going to jump the gun, but there are going to be some. There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and it doesn't work for me right now."

In November, California voters approved the first statewide tax increase since 2004. Mickelson lives in Rancho Santa Fe.

"If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate's 62, 63 percent," Mickelson said. "So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do."

Last year, Mickelson flirted with becoming a part owner of the San Diego Padres, the baseball team that sold for $800 million in August. He was asked Sunday if there was a correlation between the tax increases and what happened to the Padres' deal.

"Absolutely," Mickelson said.

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