Phil Mickelson addressed his past gambling habits with his longest statement since details of his extensive betting were made public in a new book by notorious Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters.
The six-time major champ said in a statement on Monday that he “won’t be betting this year” during football season, “because I crossed the line of moderation and into addiction which isn’t any fun at all.”
Walters wrote that Mickelson formed a gambling partnership with him that lasted five years and that during that time the golfer racked up losses that totaled nearly $100 million. Walters also claims Mickelson tried to bet on the 2012 Ryder Cup, but he talked him out of it.
Mickelson responded in a 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.” His latest statement didn’t address gambling on golf.
Mickelson’s comments come four days after his 1995 Ryder Cup captain, Lanny Wadkins, said that the 53-year-old LIV golfer would be “gambling in a ditch somewhere” if it weren’t for golf. Here’s Mickelson’s full statement on Monday in which he admits to years of getting professional help for his addiction while thanking his wife, Amy, for her support throughout:
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 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. 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. It’s like a hurricane is going on outside and I’m isolated in a shelter oblivious to what was happening. When I came out there was so much damage to clean up that I just wanted to go back inside and not deal with it.
If you ever cross the line of moderation and enter into addiction, hopefully you won’t confuse your enablers as friends like I did. Hopefully you won’t have to deal with these difficult moments publicly so others can profit off you like I have. But hopefully 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. 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.
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. I still have a lot of cleaning up to do with those I love the most but I’m doing it slowly and as best I can.
This football season and beyond, enjoy yourself with moderation so it doesn’t detract from your ability to be present. In my experience, the moments with the ones you love will be far more remembered than any bet you win or fantasy league triumph.