Federal authorities have begun an insider trading investigation against Phil Mickelson and gambler William T. Walters, people briefed on the investigation told the New York Times on Friday.
Mickelson, a three-time winner of the Masters and one of the country’s highest-earning athletes, placed a trade on Clorox in 2011, the people briefed on the investigation said. Walters, an owner of golf courses who is often considered the most successful sports bettor in the country, made a similar trade about that time.
Carl Icahn, a billionaire and one of the best-known investors in the world, was mounting a takeover bid for Clorox around the time that Mickelson and Walters placed their trades.
The FBI and Securities and Exchange Commission are examining whether Icahn leaked details of his Clorox bid to Walters. One theory, the people said, is that Walters might have passed on that information to Mickelson.
PGA — Paul Casey took advantage of the par 5s for another 6-under-par 66, giving him a three-shot lead over Bubba Watson going into the weekend in the Memorial at Dublin, Ohio.
Rory McIlroy, whose 63 was the lowest first round in the 39-year history of the tournament, was barely in the picture. He was 15 shots worse with a 78, courtesy of three straight double bogeys and his fourth straight tour event with a nine-hole score of 40 or higher. McIlroy went from a three-shot lead to nine shots behind.
Casey, taking another step on a long road back from injuries that nearly derailed his career, was at 12-under 132.
Watson gave him a good run in an active round that featured six birdies, five bogeys, and an eagle.
McIlroy shot a 43 on the back nine (he started at No. 10). He twice hit the trees on the 13th hole and made double bogey. He hit into the water on the 14th for double bogey. And then he double-hit a wedge on the 15th to make it three straight double bogeys.
LPGA — Jennifer Johnson matched the course record with a 9-under 62 to take the first-round lead in the ShopRite Classic at Galloway Township, N.J.
The 22-year-old Johnson, a winner last year in Mobile, Ala., had 10 birdies — five straight on Nos. 9-13 — and a bogey on the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club.
Haru Nomura had a bogey-free 63, and Christina Kim opened with a 64.
Top-ranked Inbee Park and Na Yeon Choi shot 66 in the morning session. Park missed the cut last week to end her streak at 22 events.
Second-ranked Stacy Lewis and Michelle Wie shot 67, and 17-year-old Lydia Ko was another stroke back.
Champions — Mark Calcavecchia and Wes Short Jr. shot 6-under 66s to share the first-round lead in the Principal Charity Classic at Des Moines.
Calcavecchia, third last year at the Wakonda Club, had three straight birdies on the back nine for his best start of the season. Short birdied the 18th hole to join Calcavecchia atop the leaderboard.
European — In the Nordea Masters at Malmo, Sweden, Alvaro Quiros shot a 5-under 67 to move to the top along with Victor Dubuisson and Eddie Pepperell. All three are at 6 under.