Phil Mickelson says he won’t be betting on American football this season.
According to a book by professional US gambler Billy Walters, Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk, Mickelson has placed bets worth a total of more than $1-billion during his golf career, including a $400,000 wager on the outcome of the 2012 Ryder Cup.
In a lengthy social media post on Monday, Mickelson admitted that he previously crossed the line from moderation into addiction and that “it wasn’t any fun.”
“Most of you will enjoy this football season with moderation while having lots of fun and entertainment,” he wrote.
“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 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.”