In a social media post that totaled 414 words and more than 2,000 characters, Phil Mickelson brought new details of his gambling addiction to light and pleaded for moderation to those who will be betting on the NFL this season. Mickelson's words come a month after pro sports bettor Billy Walters released an excerpt from his book regarding Mickelson's betting habits, which included an allegation Lefty phoned Walters to place a $400,000 wager on the U.S. to win the 2012 Ryder Cup -- an event in which Mickelson was a participant. Mickelson denied ever attempting to make the wager.
"I won't be betting this year because I crossed the line of moderation and into addiction which isn't any fun at all," wrote Mickelson. "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."
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…— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) September 18, 2023
Walters claimed Mickelson's average wager size was $110,000 and totaled gambling loses close to $100 million between the NFL, MLB, NBA and college sports during their relationship together. The six-time major champion posted on June 2 that he hadn't gambled in years and was approaching a net worth in the billions.
"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," Mickelson continued. "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."
Mickelson's post continues his openness in the battle against gambling addiction. Often known as a player to exchange money with fellow pros during practice rounds, or even fans and announcers in tournament, the 53-year-old appears to have turned over a new leaf.