Golf

Mickelson: I won't meddle in Padres

Phil Mickelson
Will Phil Mickelson become the next George Steinbrenner?
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KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (AP)

Don't worry, San Diego, Phil Mickelson promises to leave the Padres' baseball decisions to the baseball people.

Mickelson is part of an ownership group that includes former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley that recently agreed to purchase the San Diego Padres. The deal must be approved by Major League Baseball.

Mickelson spoke Thursday after the opening round of the PGA Championship at The Ocean Course.

If things go through, Mickelson says he won't meddle in lineups, pitching changes, trades or managerial moves, like owners - the late George Steinbrenner ring a bell? — have done with teams in the past. Mickelson, who grew up a Padres fans in San Diego, said he'll concentrate on community relations, something he saw lacking for several years.

''There's been a bit of a disconnect the last few years and understandably so, where the community of San Diego has really been faithful and loyal to the team and put a lot of money in to give us one of the best ballparks in the baseball,'' he said. ''The last few years I think the fan base has lost a little faith in the team and we'll see if we can turn that around.''

And how about that first time Mickelson's sitting in the owner's box as an actual owner? It will be ''awkward, but exciting nonetheless.''

Mickelson shot a 1-over 73 and said he was close to bigger things. He's trying to turn around a majors season that started with a tie for third at the Masters, then fell apart as he tied for 65th at the US Open and missed the cut last month at the British Open.

Mickelson is tied for 66th, seven shots behind first-round leader Carl Pettersson. Mickelson said he'll try and challenge the course more on Friday. ''I'll see if I can get it down there and play a little bit more aggressive,'' he said. ''If I hit some good tee shots, I feel like there's some low scores out there.''

Tagged: Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Chris Stroud, Luke Donald, Joost Luiten, Ben Crane, Carl Pettersson

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