Phil Mickelson Addresses Gambling Addiction For The First Time Publicly

It is safe to say no matter where or for whom he is playing golf, we will always hear from Phil Mickelson.

This week, he broached the subject of his much-talked-about gambling problem, addressing it head-on in a lengthy post shared on Twitter

“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,” Mickelson wrote. “I won’t 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 of 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.”

The statement, in which Mickelson took some not-so-veiled shots at former friend and gambling parter Billy Walters.

Walters’ book, “Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk” detailed Mickelson’s gambling habits and how he even tried to place a bet on the 2012 Ryder Cup that he was playing in.

According to a story by the Associated Press’ Doug Ferguson, “Phil Mickelson has wagered more than $1 billion over the last three decades and wanted to place a $400,000 bet on the 2012 Ryder Cup while playing for Team USA.”

Walters said based on his detailed record and additional records provided by sources, Mickelson’s gambling between 2010 and 2014 included:

— Betting $110,000 to win $100,000 on 1,115 occasions, and betting $220,000 to win $200,000 on 858 occasions. That alone comes out to just over $311 million.

— Mickelson in 2011 made 3,154 bets for the year and on one day (June 22) he placed 43 bets on Major League Baseball games that resulted in $143,500 in losses.

— He placed 7,065 bets on football, basketball and baseball.

“Based on our relationship and what I’ve since learned from others, Phil’s gambling losses approached not $40 million as has been previously reported, but much closer to $100 million. In all, he wagered a total of more than $1 billion during the past three decades,” Walters wrote.