DUBLIN, Ohio — Hall of Fame golfer Phil Mickelson confirmed that FBI agents investigating insider trading approached him this week at the Memorial tournament. The five-time major champion said Saturday that he has done "absolutely nothing wrong."
The FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission are analyzing trades Mickelson and Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters made involving Clorox at the same time activist investor Carl Icahn was attempting to take over the company, the Associated Press reported. When Icahn's intent became public, the stock price jumped.
Reports of the investigation appeared in several newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal.
Smiling as he stood before a room packed with reporters and cameras, Mickelson said the case had not been a distraction until FBI agents approached him after his opening round Thursday.
He said it would not affect his preparations for the U.S. Open in two weeks, the only major he lacks for the career Grand Slam.
"It's not going to change the way I carry myself," Mickelson, 43, said. "Honestly, I've done nothing wrong. I'm not going to walk around any other way."
Mickelson and Walters placed their trades about the same time in 2011, AP reported. Federal investigators are looking into whether Icahn shared information of his takeover attempt of Clorox with Walters, and whether Walters passed that information to Mickelson.
The New York offices of the U.S. Attorney and the FBI declined to comment.
The newspaper reports said that federal officials also were examining trades by Mickelson and Walters involving Dean Foods Co. in 2012.