Phil, 53, opened up about how his spouse helped him while discussing why he won’t be placing bets this football season and how his disease caused pain for his family.
“I won’t be betting this year because I crossed the line of moderation and into addiction which isn’t any fun at all,” Phil wrote in a lengthy post via Instagram on Monday, September 18. “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.”
Phil and Amy, now 51, met while they were students at Arizona State University in 1992 and quickly fell in love. They tied the knot in 1996 and went on to welcome three children: daughters Amanda, 24, and Sophia, 21, and son Evan, 20.
“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,” Mickelson recalled. “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.”
Phil wrote that anyone struggling may find it hard to tell the difference between friends and enablers, but a partner who cares is essential.
“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,” Phil said of his partner. “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.”
His statement comes weeks after Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters‘ August autobiography, Gambler: Secrets From a Life at Risk, claimed the 2021 PGA Tour champion spent more than $1 billion on sports bets over a 30-year period. Last year, Alan Shipnuck’s biography of Phil claimed the golfer lost more than $40 million from 2010 to 2014.
Phil first opened up about his gambling issues in 2022, noting at the time that he’d been dealing with his struggles in therapy for several years. On Monday, he admitted that he is still dealing with the fallout from relationships he damaged during the worst of his addiction, but he is making progress every day.
“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 wrote. “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.”
He concluded by sharing some words of wisdom as people start placing bets on football games: “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.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction, call or text The National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1-800-GAMBLER.