In a recent heartfelt post, professional golfer Phil Mickelson opened up about his struggles with addiction and issued a warning to football bettors and fantasy players for the upcoming NFL season. Mickelson, who has carried a reputation as an avid gambler both on and off the course throughout his career, revealed that he had bet more than $1 billion on sports over the past three decades.
The revelation comes from a book by pro gambler Billy Walters, which delves into Mickelson’s gambling habits and alleged attempts to bet $400,000 on the USA to win the 2012 Ryder Cup, a tournament in which he was a team member. Mickelson has since undergone treatment for his addiction and decided to share his experience to caution others.
In his post, Mickelson acknowledged that the money was never the issue, as his financial security has never been threatened. Instead, he emphasized the negative impact his addiction had on his personal life, specifically on his ability to be present and engaged with his loved ones. Mickelson described how he was often told, “You’re here but you’re not with us,” and how his addiction affected those he cared about in ways he didn’t fully understand.
Mickelson also acknowledged the difficulty of dealing with addiction on a public stage, as others profited off his struggles. He expressed gratitude for his wife, Amy, who supported him through his darkest moments and helped him rebuild his life. Mickelson credited her love, support, and commitment for setting him on the path to recovery.
After years of receiving professional help and being in recovery, Mickelson said he has found an inner calm and peace. He emphasized the importance of enjoying football season and other activities with moderation, so they don’t detract from one’s ability to be present and create lasting memories with loved ones. Mickelson encouraged readers to prioritize moments with loved ones over any bet won or fantasy league triumph.
Mickelson’s honesty and openness about his struggles with addiction serve as a reminder of the dangers of excessive gambling and the impact it can have on one’s personal life. His message serves as a warning to those who may be crossing the line of moderation and entering into addiction, while also offering hope and inspiration for those in similar situations.