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Phil Mickelson’s gambling addiction ‘crossed the line’ with Hurricane-level effects; warns football fans

Mickelson took to social media Monday to detail his addictions while warning football fans about the dangers of gambling.

Phil Mickelson, LIV Golf
Phil Mickelson gives his signature thumbs up during the LIV Golf - Bedminster event.
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Phil Mickelson was an avid gambler at one time, throwing thousands of dollars on various football games, hoping to strike a victory for his bank account.

But on Monday, Mickelson revealed that gambling has become a thing of the past for him. He referred to it as an addiction.

In doing so, he provided a thoughtful and meaningful warning to football fans, especially considering the NFL has partnered with many notable sports books over the past few years.

“Most of you will enjoy this football season with moderation while having lots of fun and entertainment,” Mickelson posted on Twitter.

“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.”

Mickelson has been known to have a friendly bet during a round on the course, too.

But the six-time major champion seems to have learned his lessons, hoping to strike a chord with others who have struggled with gambling addictions.

“If you ever cross the line of moderation and enter into addiction, hopefully, you won’t confuse your enablers as friends like I did,” Mickelson added. “Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with these difficult moments publicly so others can profit off you like I have.”

Mickelson indirectly alluded to Bill Walters’ recent book, Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk, which claims Mickelson wanted to wager $400,000 on the Americans to win the 2012 Ryder Cup.

Mickelson denied that accusation.

LIV Golf, Phil Mickelson Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Yet, Walters’ autobiography alleges that Mickelson lost $100 million and wagered close to $1 billion over the past three decades.

“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 added.

“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.”

In his post, Mickelson credits his wife, Amy, for her love and support through his difficult times. He also credits her for getting him back on the right track.

But credit should also be given to Mickelson for owning up to his mistakes, detailing his struggles, and warning others who may face similar obstacles.

Undoubtedly, Mickelson has had a controversial couple of years, ever since he joined LIV Golf. But there is no doubt that Mickelson’s confession Monday was classy, and hopefully, he remains on the right path.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.