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Mickelson joins group trying to buy Padres

Mickelson joins group trying to buy Padres

Mickelson joins group trying to buy Padres
CHICAGO -- When Padres manager Bud Black heard that golfer Phil Mickelson had joined one of the five groups trying to purchase the team, he had but one thought.

"He'd make a good fourth," Black said, smiling. "He'd be a good best-ball partner."

On Monday, Mickelson, a San Diego native, joined the group that includes four grandchildren of former Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley in their pursuit of buying the team from John Moores, who is the team's majority owner.

"I've been talking to them about being involved with them, having an opportunity to invest in the team and being part of the ownership group," Mickelson told The Associated Press. "I think it's a very good investment opportunity.

"More than that, it's an opportunity to be involved in the community in San Diego, with something that gives the community a sense of pride. I feel like we can make the Padres a competitive team that can contend year in and year out, and we can do something for the community. It's something I've loved since I was a kid."

Last week, former Padres Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn announced that he would be involved in another group interested in buying the team, one led by Thomas Tull, who is the chairman and CEO of Legendary Entertainment.

According to Moores last week, three groups had been approved by Major League Baseball to review the financial records of the Padres for a possible purchase of the franchise. Moores said he expects that number to reach at least six before the bidding on the club is complete.

Mickelson's involvement with the O'Malley group was first reported by U-T San Diego. Mickelson said that his proposed investment would be "a lot," and a "significant investment opportunity."

Mickelson, who was recently inducted into the World of Golf Hall of Fame, was asked about what his role would be with the franchise.

"Day-to-day operations, running a sports organization -- that's not my forte," he said. "I want to have a personal relationship with the players and find ways to get them tied to the community, things of that nature."

According to Moores, the three groups that have received MLB approval are Tull, O'Malley and New York hedge fund multi-billionaire Steve Cohen, a recent minority partner of the Mets who was in the running until the end to purchase the Dodgers from Frank McCourt.

Other members of the O'Malley group are Kevin and Brian O'Malley and their cousins Peter and Tom Seidler, the chief executive of the Class A Visalia Rawhide.

"When we met with Phil, we were inspired by his commitment to San Diego and his passion for the Padres," Kevin O'Malley said in a statement to U-T San Diego. "He is a world-class person, athlete and businessman with a strong history of charitable leadership and he will be an ideal partner for many years in San Diego."

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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