Phil Mickelson excited about Padres

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- Phil Mickelson seemed more excited to talk about the San Diego Padres than his golf game.

A group that includes Mickelson, the World Hall of Fame golfer, and former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley reached agreement Monday to buy the Padres. The agreement still needs to be approved by baseball owners and finalized, a baseball official said Tuesday.

"It's exciting for me to be a part of a team that I've been a huge fan of since I was a kid," Mickelson said after shooting 1-over-par 73 during the first round of the PGA Championship at the Ocean Course. "I'm really looking forward to kind of bringing them back together with the community.

"There's been a bit of 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 ball parks in baseball. The last few years, I think the fan base has lot a little bit of faith in the team and we'll see if we can turn that 'round."

Mickelson, 42, has won 40 PGA Tour events in his career, including four major championships, one of them the 2005 PGA Championship.

He is in the midst of a slump that has seen him shoot just one round under par on the PGA Tour dating to May. He had a scrambling round Thursday with three birdies and four bogeys and trails tournament leader Carl Pettersson by seven strokes.

The purchase price is believed to be around $800 million and still must be approved by Major League Baseball.

The new ownership group includes Peter O'Malley's two sons, Kevin and Brian, and nephews Peter and Tom Seidler.

"I'm not involved in the day to day of it," Mickelson said. "My partners on this, the O'Malleys and Seidlers, they're phenomenal. They've been doing this for decades; their family has. They know what they're doing, and I'm a big believer if you get the right people you let them do their job and I am not the right person on the team, they are. But it's fun for me to be a part of it and see if I can help bring everybody together."

Asked what it would be like to sit in the owner's box, Mickelson said,
"Awkward, but exciting nonetheless. Again, San Diego is such a great city and I've been fortunate to grow up there. We have two teams, and the people there are very loyal. We haven't been as good to the community as the team needs to be, and we're going to change that."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.