NBC Sports personality David Feherty has been open about his battles with substance addiction, talking about the trials in his TV show, books, columns and stand-up. The former Ryder Cup player and colorful commentator also shared his story with John Feinstein in a GWAA award-winning piece.
But alcohol and drug abuse are only part of Feherty’s demons. In the summer of 2017, Feherty lost his son, Shey, to an overdose. “He was lost in so many ways. Reminded me a lot of me,” Feherty told Feinstein. “Which is just one of the reasons I can’t help but feel devastated and guilty about what happened to him.”
Two years later, the loss continues to impact Feherty on a daily basis, as he told HBO’s Bryant Gumbel in a “Real Sports” interview airing Tuesday night.
“I apologize to him every day. I’m sorry, son. You know, I wasn’t there,” Feherty told Gumbel. “I just … I mean I just wasn’t there. I was always gone. Times that I was drunk. The times that I was high. They could have been times I would have spent with him.”
Shey’s death sent Feherty into a spiral, and on one occasion, forced him to relapse with his own addiction.
“I was at a friend’s ranch and I’d gone up there to be by myself. I thought, ‘You know what? I’ve been sober 10 years. I’m tired of it. You know, I’m tired of being sober. I wanna feel better.’ And I convinced myself that it would make me feel better,” Feherty said.
“So, there was a bottle of Irish whiskey there, which is, like, an angel cryin’ on my tongue. But oddly enough, it didn’t — tasted awful. But I made myself drink more. I thought, ‘Hey, I’ve got this under control. I don’t have to drink that much.’ You know, the next day I did the same thing, and I thought, ‘Well, I’ve got it under control.’ Before I knew it, you know, it had me under control.”
The entire interview is scheduled to run on HBO at 10:00 p.m. Tuesday night.
Feherty’s eponymous show is in the midst of its ninth season on Golf Channel, and Feherty is expected to work this week’s WGC-Match Play in Austin.