David Feherty has spoken poignantly and honestly about the death ofhis 29-year-old son to a drug overdose, admitting the trauma doesn’t get better – “it just gets older”.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph’s golf correspondent James Corrigan, former Ryder Cupper Feherty says he is constantly questioning himself over the loss of his son Shey 18 months ago.
“He was assuring me (giving him money) wasn’t for drugs, but deep down I would have known,” Feherty told Corrigan.
“But he was such a sweet lad and I so wanted to believe that he was coming out the other side. The thing is, addicts make the best liars. I should know.”
Feherty stopped drinking over a decade ago following the helpful intervention of Tom Watson.
Though he was put on medication for depression and bipolar, Feherty, now 60, says Shey’s tragedy secretly highlighted the dangers of regression.
“I'd been sober for 10 years and I had a relapse spell after that,” Feherty revealed to the Telegraph.
"Losing a child, it doesn't get better, it just gets older. It’s fair enough to say that yeah It would've been easy just to go hit the bottle and think ‘f*** it’.
"But I do believe every time you get through something, you're stronger. And I had so much help so from many people.”
Feherty has signed up with Sky Sports to front a new golf feature slot weekly. It kicks off tonight with a typically irreverent interview with Ian Poulter.
His popularity as an NBC analyst ensures there’s love and respect from a lot of today’s tour pros.
“They are good guys and just because they have this tremendous work ethic and look after themselves when we didn’t back in the day and stayed up boozing, doesn’t mean they aren’t.
"It's the nature of this game. You can't be an arsehole for very long out here.
"Well, unless you're Nick Faldo…. I’m joking… of course. Jordan Spieth lives around the corner from me in Dallas and is a great kid. And Tiger? What a legend."
But his compatriot Rory McIlroy tops the lot for Feherty. “I was the assistant pro at Holywood Golf Club where he grew up…
"I knew his parents and saw snapshots of him as he matured on the course.
"He’s always just been the same little boy. I'm so proud of him, I can't even begin to tell you.
"Every time he comes on the screen, I find it difficult not to be biased. It's one of the things I have to be careful of.”