Phil Mickelson Addresses “Reckless” Gambling Past in Build up to $25m UK Golf Tournament

  • Golfer Phil Mickelson opened up about his gambling past in a new interview with SI
  • Mickelson said his gambling was “reckless and embarrassing” about ten years ago
  • He affirms he is on the right track now but doesn’t like that people know about his past
  • Mickelson is coming back with “renewed excitement and energy” for playing golf
Phil Mickelson
Golfer Phil Mickelson is back playing golf and is also addressing his demons, admitting he had experienced a “reckless” phase of gambling in his past. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Candid responses

Golf supremo Phil Mickelson has candidly addressed questions about his gambling past in an exclusive interview with Sports Illustrated.

the golfer’s response touched on many areas, including gambling

Mickelson made the comments in response to queries surrounding an upcoming $25m breakaway golf tournament. The reporter asked whether he needed the prize money from the competition due to financial difficulties. As SI writer Bob Harig shared via Twitter, the golfer’s response touched on many areas, including gambling:

Mickelson said that he and his family have been financially stable “for some time.” However, he also candidly acknowledged that: “My gambling got to a point of being reckless and embarrassing. I had to address it.” The 51-year-old added that he has spent “hundreds of hours on therapy” for his gambling addiction.

In relation to his gambling demons, Mickelson said he feels “good where I’m at.” He also denied that he needed the cash from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series in the UK, due to tee off later this week.

Reckless years

In the SI interview, Mickelson delved even deeper into his emotions, describing gambling as a part of his life “ever since I can remember.” The golfer, however, pinpointed a time around ten years ago when his gambling “became reckless.”

Mickelson labeled his gambling past embarrassing, confessing that he doesn’t like that people know about it. That said, he added that he feels more in control now. “We’re at a place after many years where I feel comfortable with where that is,’’ he said. “It isn’t a threat to me or my financial security. It was just a number of poor decisions.’’

Final questions and the future

SI also asked Mickelson about his habit of gambling on the golf course during practice rounds, but the golfer brushed off this wagering as simply a way of “creating competition.” He contrasted this with off-course wagering and all the addiction and anxiety that comes with it.

I’ve come away with a balance in my life’’

“I’ve spent a lot of time doing therapy and dealing with issues that I have.’’ Mickelson added. “But I’ve come away with a balance in my life and a renewed excitement and energy to get back to playing golf.’’

The interview signals Mickelson emerging from his blanket four-month timeout from golf tournaments and media statements over the backlash around the controversial LIV golf tournament, Mickelson’s new venture which some consider a threat to the PGA.