Phil Mickelson not betting on football, says addiction caused harm

Phil Mickelson, who allegedly gambled more than $1 billion over a 30-year stretch, says he’s not betting on football this season, acknowledging he “crossed the line of moderation and into addiction.”

The golf great says after years of professional help, he’s now able to live in the moment rather than be consumed by his vice.

“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,” Mickelson, 53, wrote Monday on Twitter.

“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.”

In a book published last month, pro gambler Billy Walters claims Mickelson made more than 7,000 bets on football, basketball and baseball from 2010-14 and that his wagers added up to more than $1 billion over the past three decades.

Walters also claims Mickelson’s losses approached $100 million and accused the six-time major winner of wanting to bet on the 2012 Ryder Cup, which he competed in.

Phil Mickelson

FILE - Phil Mickelson hits his tee shot on the fifth hole of the South Course at Torrey Pines during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament, Jan. 26, 2022, in San Diego. Phil Mickelson, the chief recruiter for a Saudi-funded rival league to the PGA Tour, was the last big name to join the 48-man field for the LIV Golf Invitational that starts Friday outside London. It will be Mickelson's first time playing since Feb. 6 at the Saudi International. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy, File)

Denis Poroy/AP

Phil Mickelson at Torrey Pines in San Diego in 2022.

In his new statement, Mickelson said he confused his enablers with friends.

“Hopefully you won’t have to deal with these difficult moments publicly so others can profit off you like I have,” Mickelson wrote. “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 [wife] Amy.”

Mickelson has won the Masters three times. His most recent victory at a major tournament came in 2021 at the PGA Championship. The lefty was among the most high-profile players to join the controversial, Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour, which is set to merge with the PGA Tour.

“This football season and beyond, enjoy yourself with moderation so it doesn’t detract from your ability to be present,” Mickelson wrote. “In my experience, the moments with the ones you love will be far more remembered than any bet you win or fantasy league triumph.”

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