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Phil Mickelson says he’s received ‘hundreds of hours of therapy’ for ‘reckless’ gambling addiction

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Stories of Phil Mickelson’s gambling run deep in golfing folklore and, in Alan Shipnuck’s recently released biography, things became a touch more real with stories of money being thrown around on all manner of outcomes, whatever the sport.

Given his exile from the sport, Lefty’s reputation was shrouded in mystery as we were left with some diverse opinions on the Saudi League, once the certain destination for the six-time major champion and then subject of some very political rhetoric.

It was time for the man himself to speak and he re-emerged on social media last night with the declaration that he once again intends to be part of the controversial LIV series. So certain is this move that Wikipedia now say he ‘used to play on the PGA Tour but now plays on the LIV Tour.’

The statement included an apology to the “many people I offended and hurt with my comments” and revealed that he has found peace and contentment at home with his family during his hiatus. He also states that his consideration to join the LIV series has given him a “renewed spirit and excitement for the game.”

As we have learned from various sources over the past few months, the 51-year-old knows how to play the crowd but at least we were getting this from the man himself, rather than hearsay.

Indeed, Mickelson recently gave an interview to Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig in which he skirts past the Saudi Arabia controversy and the whys and wherefores of joining or otherwise.

Whilst glossing over some of these issues as “a lot of mistakes”, he was happy to go into further detail about rumors of his gambling habit.

Harig asked Mickelson if his decision to play the LIV series, and receive a hefty sum to do so, was based on any “financial difficulties” and the reply was that it hadn’t but Lefty acknowledged that he had struggled with gambling.

“My gambling got to a point of being reckless and embarrassing,” he said. “I had to address it. 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.”

He added, “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 a 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.”

“On the golf course, it’s creating competition. But it’s the anxiety, the other things that come across with gambling off the course and addiction off the course that I really needed to address,” he said.

Take the interview as you feel but, whatever the thoughts and opinions on the the Mickelson myth, it is good to hear from the man himself.

No doubt plenty are eager to hear the press conferences throughout the LIV event this week in London.

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  1. Pingback: ‘Eager to cash his conscience for a check’ – Leading analyst savages Mickelson’s LIV statement – GolfWRX

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19th Hole

The hilarious reason why Kevin Kisner asked to sit the afternoon at the 2017 Presidents Cup

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Golf is changing, as always.

While the best of the team events – the Ryder and Presidents Cup – give rookies the chance to shine, both events often rely on the experienced players to steady the ship through the early stages.

This week’s Presidents Cup is the 12th run-out of the U.S v International match-up, and the first since 2019.

The 2021 event was, of course, cancelled because of Covid and the teams look very different to how they may have looked a year ago, mainly because of the ineligibility of any players that have chosen the LIV path for their recent careers.

Played at Quail Hollow this season, the teams are a mix of the plainly obvious and those with zero experience, with 14 of the 24 players making their debuts in the event, including world number one Scottie Scheffler and Max Homa, winner of the 2019 Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s often best to turn to the older members for the stories, and 38-year-old Kevin Kisner has never been short of a tale or two.

With an enviable record at the World Matchplay – one win and two finals appearances in six starts – Kiz appears the type to thrive at all aspects of the team challenge. However, back on his 2017 Presidents Cup debut, he wanted to be left off the roster for day three.

His event started brightly for the rookie, when playing alongside Phil Mickelson, a Thursday half in the foursomes followed by a win in the following day’s fourballs.

Day three again started well for the pairing, beating Jhonattan Vegas and Emiliano Grillo 2&1 and taking their record to 2-1-0, before that strange request.

Golf writer Brentley Romine posted a tweet on Thursday revealing that Kisner approached the then U.S captain Steve Stricker and asked for Saturday afternoon off, because:

“Because Georgia played Tennessee. Strick is like. ‘Seriously?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, man, that’s my squad.'”

This is not the first time that golf took a back-seat to a Bulldog game.

In the same year, while competing at the Tour Championship, Kisner took to social media to arrange a flight to a Georgia-Mississippi game, eventually finishing tied third at the lucrative season finale.

The mid-event break clearly does him good as he also profited at Liberty National, halving his Sunday singles game with Anirban Lahiri and keeping intact an undefeated record as his team thrashed the Internationals 19-11.

Kisner didn’t take part in the opening day of this year’s Presidents Cup and there is no knowing whether he will play when Davis Love requires him to. Better check the football schedule first.

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‘It’s a slap in the face’ – Patrick Reed hits out at DP World Tour over treatment at latest events

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This week, Patrick Reed is playing in the Cazoo Open De France at Le Golf National. The course is where the 2018 Ryder Cup was held. The European Team won the trophy, and Reed was only able to muster one point in three matches.

This week however, Patrick Reed was the betting favorite entering play. Despite being somewhat of a regular on the DP World Tour, Reed feels as though the treatment he’s received this week has been “a slap in the face”.

Reed is by far the biggest name in the field, but wasn’t asked to play in the pro-am or conduct a pre-tournament press conference. Of course, this treatment is a result of the 33 year old’s decision to join LIV Golf.

According to The Telegraph, Reed told Journal du Golf: “It’s a slap in the face not to invite me to do a press conference here, or as happened in Wentworth, not to have me play the pro-am and all those things. At the end of the day, it’s just my golf that I have control over. I’m here to support the Tour, France and all the people who are here.”

“But I don’t see why we can’t move from the LIV to the European Tour like we usually move from the PGA Tour to the European Tour. A lot of players understand and support my choice and have nothing against me. I didn’t feel any animosity against me from them.”

While there have been some players who have publicly stated they have no issues with the players who’ve chosen to go to LIV, there have also been a number of players who have done the opposite.

LIV golfers are currently able to participate on the DP World Tour due to a temporary court order until it is resolved legally. A decision on their eligibility going forward is expected to be given in February.

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Congress members blast ‘pimp’ Greg Norman in meeting at Capitol Hill

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On Wednesday, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman met with members of congress to discuss LIV’s current dispute with the PGA TOUR.

It didn’t go very well.

According to multiple sources, Republican Tim Burchett of Tennessee walked out of the meeting due to an inability to understand Norman due to his accent as well as the “propaganda” he felt Norman was sharing.

Burchett later sent a tweet himself about the meeting with “The Shark”.

Burchett wasn’t the only member of congress to give Norman a hard time.. Chip Roy of Texas said to reporters of the meeting: “Don’t come in here and act like you’re doing some great thing, while you’re pimping a billion dollars of Saudi Arabian money,”

It’s unclear whether or not any of the lawmakers gave Norman the reception he was looking for, but he did later thank them for meeting with him via an Instagram post.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Greg Norman (@shark_gregnorman)

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