Golf superstar Phil Mickelson is addressing the rumors that have followed him for years ... coming clean about his gambling problem and opening up on his successful treatment.
Lefty dropped a statement on the matter Monday on social media ... saying while millions of fans will be enjoying their fantasy football season and betting in moderation, he will not -- and it's because his hobby turned into an obsession.
"I wont be betting this year because I crossed the line of moderation and into addiction which isn’t any fun at all," Mickelson said ... adding his financial losses due to his gambling weren't devastating, but the impact it had on his personal life was crushing.
"'You’re here but you’re not with us,' is something I’ve been told often throughout my addiction," Mickelson said. "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."
Mickelson said some people close to him throughout his addiction were enablers disguised as friends ... but there was one person in his corner who helped him through his darkest times -- his wife, Amy.
"I couldn’t have gotten through this without her," Mickelson added. "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."
Phil also revealed he sought professional help for years and is still recovering ... but is moving in the right direction every day without gambling.
The admission comes after popular gambler Billy Walters alleged Mickelson placed more than $1 billion in bets over 30 years -- including wanting to place a $400,000 wager on the Ryder Cup in 2012, when he was a member of Team USA -- but Mickelson denied ever betting on the competition.