Golf legend Phil Mickelson opens up about “hurricane” gambling addiction
Mickelson began his message by acknowledging the excitement and camaraderie that the football season brings in the US.
He encouraged fans to enjoy the games and engage in fantasy leagues responsibly, emphasising that the thrill of betting should never overshadow the joy of the sport.
However, he revealed that he would be abstaining from wagering this year, after admitting he had crossed the line from moderation into addiction, “which isn’t any fun at all”.
“The money wasn’t ever the issue since our financial security has never been threatened, but I was so distracted I wasn’t able to be present with the ones I love and caused a lot of harm,” he confessed.
He added: “This lack of presence has been so hurtful. ‘You’re here but you’re not with us,’ is something I’ve been told often throughout my addiction. It affected those I care about in ways I wasn’t aware or could fully understand.”
The hurricane within
He likened his addiction to being in the midst of a hurricane, isolated from reality. When he eventually confronted the damage caused, it was overwhelming.
Mickelson advised others not to confuse enablers with true friends and expressed the hope that individuals wouldn’t have to face their darkest moments in the public eye.
He expressed profound gratitude for her unwavering support, which he claimed was instrumental in his journey to recovery.
“After many years of receiving professional help, not gambling, and being in recovery from my addictions, I’m now able to sit still, be present in the moment, and live each day with an inner calm and peace,” Mickelson said.
While he acknowledged the ongoing process of rebuilding relationships, he affirmed his commitment to it.
Mickelson revelation comes on the heels of accusations made by the golfer’s former associate, Billy Walters, in his book titled: “Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk.”
Walters claimed that Mickelson had wagered over $1bn on various sports events, including football, basketball, and baseball games, over the past three decades.
Notably, Walters alleged that Mickelson had asked an associate to place a $400,000 bet on the US team during the 2012 Ryder Cup, in which he was competing.
However, Mickelson later denied any involvement in betting on the Ryder Cup.
Photo: Flickr – Corn Farmer