Pro Golfer Opens Up About Gambling Addiction, Credits Wife as 'Strong and Supportive Partner'
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All bets are off for Phil Mickelson, the professional golfer owning up to his gambling addiction after it was alleged he squandered more than $1 billion over the last three decades.
The three-time Masters champ opened up about the struggle in a lengthy post to X.
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“Most of you,” he wrote, “will enjoy this football season with moderation while having lots of fun and entertainment. The fantasy leagues will provide banter amongst friends and money won or lost betting won’t affect you. I won’t be betting this year.”
Mickelson, 53, went on to explain that, although the addiction never left him financially strapped, he was emotionally unavailable to those for whom he cares most. The bad habit, he wrote, left him “so distracted I wasn’t able to be present with the ones I love and caused a lot of harm.”
Most of you will enjoy this football season with moderation while having lots of fun and entertainment. The fantasy leagues will provide banter amongst friends and money won or lost betting won’t affect you. I wont be betting this year because I crossed the line of moderation and…— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) September 18, 2023
The athlete’s admission comes a little more than a month after gambler Billy Walters claimed in his book that Mickelson has bet north of $1 billion over the last 30 years, including allegedly wanting to place a $400,000 bet on the 2012 Ryder Cup while playing for Team USA.
Mickelson responded via statement to Golf Digest saying, "I never bet on the Ryder Cup. While it is well known that I always enjoy a friendly wager on the course, I would never undermine the integrity of the game."
Now in recovery, the pro golfer is crediting his wife Amy for being a “strong and supportive partner” as he works to control his addiction — and warned against those who turn to those they believe are friends but, in reality, are just enabling bad behaviors.
“If you ever cross the line of moderation and enter into addiction, hopefully you won’t confuse your enablers as friends like I did,” Mickelson wrote. “Hopefully you won’t have to deal with these difficult moments publicly so others can profit off you like I have.”
He continued, “[H]opefully, you will have a strong and supportive partner who is willing to help you through being your worst self, and through your worst moments like I have in Amy. She has loved me and supported me through my darkest and most difficult times.”
“I couldn’t have gotten through this without her,” the golfer added. “I’m so grateful for her strength in helping us get through the many challenges I’ve created for us. Because of her love, support, and commitment, I’m back on track to being the person I want to be.”
Going through counseling and saying “no” to gambling, Mickelson explained, has allowed him the freedom “to sit still, be present in the moment and live each day with an inner calm and peace.”
“I still have a lot of cleaning up to do with those I love the most,” he wrote, “but I’m doing it slowly and as best I can.”
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