Phil Mickelson Addresses Gambling Life Ahead of LIV Golf Invitational
Photo by Alan Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson was added to the LIV Golf Invitational field on Monday, ending a four-month hiatus from the course.
Mickelson had previously been interested in the Saudi-backed event, with a report citing gambling losses as a driving factor behind the 51-year-old’s desire to participate in big-money purses opposite the PGA Tour.
And with $25 million up for grabs this weekend at Centurion Golf Club, it prompted the no-brainer question.
Here’s what Mickelson had to say to SI’s Bob Harig when asked of the suggestion that Lefty may be participating in higher stakes “due to financial difficulties.”
“My gambling got to a point of being reckless and embarrassing. I had to address it,” Mickelson said. “And I’ve been addressing it for a number of years. And for hundreds of hours of therapy. I feel good where I’m at there. My family and I are and have been financially secure for some time.
“Gambling has been part of my life ever since I can remember. But about a decade ago is when I would say it became reckless. It’s embarrassing. I don’t like that people know. The fact is I’ve been dealing with it for some time. Amy has been very supportive of it and with me and the process. We’re at place after many years where I feel comfortable with where that is. It isn’t a threat to me or my financial security. It was just a number of poor decisions.’’
Mickelson’s never been shy with gambling banter, yet the amount of reported debt was more than enough to raise the public eye.
Mickelson hasn’t played an event since early February at the Saudi Invitational. His last outing on U.S. soil, meanwhile, was a week prior at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and Kevin Na are among the other notable players heading to the LIV Golf Invitational, which features eight total events in the series.