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SEC files $931K suit against Phil Mickelson for insider trading



This story was updated for accuracy on May 19, 11:15 a.m.

Nothing good comes when you owe a bookie money, as Phil Mickelson is surely finding out. According to a complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission this morning, Mickelson — named as a “relief defendant” — acted on an insider tip from gambler William “Billy” Walters, taking a position in Dean Foods to the tune of $2.4 million and selling his shares a week later at a profit of $931,000.

According to the complaint, Mickelson acted on the tip from Walters because he owed the gambler money, having “placed bets with Walters.” And while we don’t want to jump to conclusions, it seems Walters probably gave Mickelson the option of either repaying him out of pocket or taking the position, liquidating, and passing along the profits to settle his debts.

According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, “The SEC is seeking to recoup alleged Ill-gotten gains from Mickelson, who was not criminally charged.” Thus, while he is being named, and asked to forfeit his “ill-gotten gains,” Mickelson isn’t being charged criminally (whereas Walters is).

The complaint also indicates that Mickelson does not have a history of trading stock and that the position in Dean Foods dwarfed the golfer’s other holdings. And for our readers who are curious about the specifics of the white-collar crime, the tip in question was a preview of Dean’s earnings and outlook, which was passed along to Walters by a Dean director, prior to the information being released to the public.

And for those who are really interested, here’s the SEC complaint.

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  1. Johny Thunder

    Jun 6, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Welcome to Golfwrx, where people who claim to be plus-handicaps also claim to be experts on anything and everything you might raise as a topic. Also, they know all the private lives and inside details of everyone and everything – from Presidential candidates to professional golfers to every CEO on the planet. In their spare time, they know how to run every golf company better than anyone else, prophecy with 100% accuracy what each company will release next (“I guarantee 100%”), all while hitting a little low-spin knockdown 6 iron 220 uphill into the wind over the water to a tucked flag, which they had to do because their irons go too far and DG X100 hard-stepped twice always balloon on them. It’s all about gapping, my friends.

  2. Chuck D

    May 20, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    @Mac Attack: If dude is allegedly worth $180mil, why would he need to borrow $2.4mil to purchase insider traded stock. Why not just grab the gator bound checkbook and scratch one out for 2 plus mill? Oh, forgot, he’s a degenerate gambler with about $30k in the bank! Lol! Must be nice! Go get ’em Phil, get that “vindication” trophy while you can! Let’s see, a wife, 3 kids, a mortgage, 5-6 cars, new pimped out crib, gambling debts, a stripper, an alleged baby mama near da Mahztaz Toooonament, as Hootie used to say. Yup, ‘ol Phil’s prolly in desperate straights!!

  3. Chuck D

    May 20, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    Darn!!! Dey must’a flushed it. Sad

  4. Chuck D

    May 20, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Uh oh, a moderator delay. Hopefully my comment won’t get the snatch grab!! Hahahaha!! 10, 9, 8, 7 ,6, 5, 4, 3, 2………………

  5. Chuck D

    May 20, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    In this country, having the “complexion for protection” is HUGE! Relief defendant?!! Whaaaat!! Never heard that term in my adult life! You’ve got to love a piece of KPMG’s mission statement (Phil’s major sponsor, errrr, enabler for those of you north of the border.) And I quote, “Tax arrangements relating to tax avoidance.” KPMG in 2005 admitted to criminal wrongdoing in creating fraudulent tax shelters to “help” wealthy clients avoid $2.5 billion in taxes and agreed to pay $456 million in penalties!! New thoughts for me when I see Pickle’s ball cap sponsor tag. Wonder if he had to pay additional “advisory” fees to his bookie? This is so contaminated with dog excrement that I can’t stand writing about it.

    Step right up folks nothing to see here, keep it moving, step up and purchase your overpriced tickets “where the proceeds ‘allegedly’ go to charity” and see Pickle live at the next bogus tour stop! The “w_ _ _ e” hope get’s a free pass on the grounds that he is an upstanding member of the southern California community that has made it clear to all that he hates paying taxes. I love this story and I hope that it has a long life!! Oh wait, Mr. Pickleson has already stated vindication!! On what grounds? Was there a trial that fill sat on? Vindicated?!! I LOVE IT!!! What’a country!!!

  6. RAT

    May 20, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Wasn’t smart , got caught! Fact . The password “Dallas Cowboys ” should have told you Phil!

  7. Lp

    May 20, 2016 at 2:05 am

    I love Phil. Phil is the best. He does nothing wrong, ever. It’s always somebody else who f’s it up.

  8. Dave

    May 19, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    He got his tip from J.D.

  9. Thudstaff23

    May 19, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    So glad I get all of my stock tips right out of thin air!

  10. ooffa

    May 19, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Never bet more then is in your pocket. Imagine how deeply involved he is if this is how he agreed to pay a bet. Tip of the iceberg boys. He is a degenerate gambler through and through.

    • Eric

      May 19, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      The bookie couldn’t pay him so gave him the tip, not the other way around

  11. 8thehardway

    May 19, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Pssst Phil, Pork Bellies!!! Pay me next week.

  12. Ronnie Biggs

    May 19, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    And “he” was not sleeping around until he was……the naivety of some on here is truly outstanding.

  13. Dennis

    May 19, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    He has basically been cleared of any wrongdoing. People are way too quick to condemn when the facts are not all available.

  14. Jafar

    May 19, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Phil’s Response: “I only get out of bed for for a million dollar or more fines…”

  15. larrybud

    May 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Yeah, but can Phil turn $1,000 into $100k in 10 months from cattle futures like a certain female Presidential contender? lol

    • B. Parsons

      May 19, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Sad that a criminal such as her has a chance of winning the presidency.

      • Johny Thunder

        Jun 6, 2016 at 6:11 am

        Too bad the other side can offer *only* criminals!

  16. Mac Attack

    May 19, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    99% of those commenting have no idea what the heck is happening. The SEC routinely goes after everyone who trades stocks that make big jumps. The bookie, who is being charged criminally, is now throwing everyone under the bus in order to get out. You have to look at this logically. Why would a guy give a stock tip to someone who owes him money? Mickelson makes over $40 mil a year. Do you really believe that he needs to break the law in order to pay off a bet? You guys need to take your heads out of your arses and go to a Bernie rally. You have no mental capacity for anything greater.

    The SEC is filled with a bunch of low life attorneys that can’t get jobs with decent law firms. They hate people that make more money than they do… which is most people.

    • larrybud

      May 19, 2016 at 2:01 pm

      lol. A Bernie rally. Do you learn how to bankrupt a small college at those things?

    • Mike Honcho

      May 19, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Sure he wants to break the law in order to payoff a bet. You think if he just goes down and withdraws $931K from his account that won’t raise some eyebrows with the bank or some federal banking agent, maybe even his accountant who he doesn’t want to know about his ‘off the books’ debt.

      You give a stock tip to someone who owes you money because that’s an easy way for the bookie to get paid and Phil not have to be ‘exposed’ to what is mentioned above. You’re right you have to look at it logically,but you’re making the assumption that just because someone has huge bank they operate logically.

      He screwed up, he’s caught and he’ll be doing 6-10 months in a Martha Stewart suite.

      • knall

        May 20, 2016 at 6:13 am

        So if he takes the tip and makes the money he doesnt have to transfer it to his bank and then withdraw it which would raise the same eyebrows? Didnt know stock brokers give out cash in those amounts.

      • Jeff Kinney

        May 23, 2016 at 7:21 pm

        You’re right on the mark. Ask Dennis Hastert about pulling large sums of money out to pay someone off.

    • steve

      May 19, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      you dont understand the mind of the gambler. your always chasing yout losses. Lose a million bet and try to get it back.

    • Minnesota Fats

      May 19, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      Pretty sure you have that backwards. The bookie couldn’t pay Phil, not the other way around.

      • Minnesota Fats

        May 19, 2016 at 10:15 pm

        Then again my reading comprehension could probably use some help, I totally read it wrong lol.

  17. birdy

    May 19, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    someone tells you to trade a stock and you do and you make money…..turns our the advice was accurate but only because your advisor had special info….how again is this Phil’s fault? oh, its not. IRS wants the money back, but there is NO criminal charges.

    • Forsbrand

      May 19, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      Th information was not freely available to all public that s the big issue here.

      If Phil was in the UK the would be looking at a prison sentence as well as a fine

      • Nick Barone

        May 19, 2016 at 1:54 pm

        This is America where we welcome fraud and power abuse

      • Mac Attack

        May 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm

        You are completely wrong.

        • Forsbrand

          May 20, 2016 at 3:36 am

          Dealt in a stock in a size larger than normal “parcel size” of other holdings / purchases

          Wonder why he had so much faith in Dean Foods, what did Phil know? NOTHING?

          So my friend I think you are wrong

    • Marty Moose

      May 19, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      Where is the word “advisor” in this article? Was the bookie also his financial advisor?

      • Scott

        May 20, 2016 at 8:40 am

        My bookie is a terrible financial advisor. He told me Apple was a flash in the pan…

  18. JJ

    May 19, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Why are coming down so hard on Phil. What about all the banks that got off for the housing market crash and the government official who let it happen. How are those execs allowed to keep their job and then get bonuses a few years later. It is ridiculous that people’s focus is so short sided. Go after the real white collar criminals, but that will never happen because people are stupid and can not come together!

  19. steve

    May 19, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    His gambling is out of control

    • Phil Mickelson

      May 20, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      How much you wanna bet it ain’t

  20. cgasucks

    May 19, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Mickelson is better off just to pay off his gambling debts out of pocket instead of illegal gotten gains from the stock market. Him breaking the law won’t look good on him.

    • cgasucks

      May 19, 2016 at 11:25 am

      Robbing Peter to pay Paul…

    • birdy

      May 19, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      did you even read the article….phil did nothing illegal.

      • Brian

        May 19, 2016 at 2:00 pm

        Yes, Phil did do something illegal. This is the same thing that landed Martha Stewart in Jail, birdy.

        • Mac Attack

          May 19, 2016 at 2:02 pm

          Martha Stewart went to jail for LYING to federal investigators NOT insider trading. You probably play oversize cavity backs and can’t hit anything over a 7 iron, Miss.

          • Brian

            May 19, 2016 at 2:05 pm

            If MP-57s are oversize cavity backs, then yes, I’m guilty.

            • Slimeone

              May 19, 2016 at 4:49 pm

              Actually they are. They’re not HUGE but they’re definitely not blades. So by WRX standards that makes them shovels.

      • cgasucks

        May 19, 2016 at 4:09 pm

        Have you ever seen the movie “Wall Street” birdy?

      • Rwj

        May 19, 2016 at 6:15 pm

        He did something illegal, they are saying not criminal. Did you read the article Mr smarty pants? If it wasn’t illegal he wouldn’t be paying back. It isn’t considered criminal, at least not for him

        • Forsbrand

          May 22, 2016 at 12:28 pm

          Check out Criminal Justice Act 1993 -Insider Dealing

  21. Tom

    May 19, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Ill gotten goods, gone bad through gambling deeds

  22. Ben Alberstadt

    May 19, 2016 at 11:19 am

    NUANCE: According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, “The SEC is seeking to recoup alleged Ill-gotten gains from Mickelson, who was not criminally charged.”

  23. Marty Moose

    May 19, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Phil is a dirty guy. Those who think otherwise play right into his hands. He tries to play up the folksy, family man “gosh gee golly” persona but he is really liar, thief and adulterer. Get this loser out of the game of golf.

    • Tom

      May 19, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Please expand on your opinion.

      • cgasucks

        May 19, 2016 at 11:29 am

        Although there are numerous stories of him acting fake to other people from fellow PGA pros to possibly being an adulterer (rumors of him having an illegitimate child with a stripper), but thief? I don’t know about that.

        • Marty Moose

          May 19, 2016 at 11:35 am

          Insider trading would count as theft. No? This is not first time being accused of this.

          • Undershooter30

            May 19, 2016 at 1:32 pm

            Actually this is the first of him being accused of insider trading. This is the same story as before. Just following up on it. It takes a while to build a case.

            • birdy

              May 19, 2016 at 1:38 pm

              phil isn’t being accused of insider trading. thats illegal. his advisor is being accused. SEC and IRS just want phil’s profits that supposedly resulted from anothers insider info. big difference.

          • birdy

            May 19, 2016 at 1:37 pm

            IRS commits theft every april

    • TCJ

      May 19, 2016 at 11:55 am

      So he is also sleeping around… nice! He’s got moves both on and off the course. Kudos Lefty, you’re still my hero!

      • TCJ

        May 19, 2016 at 11:58 am

        Game… he’s got game both on and off the course… dammit!

    • birdy

      May 19, 2016 at 1:32 pm

      um….phil did nothing criminal….unlike the lady you’ll vote for

    • cody

      May 19, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      comments like these need a shred of evidence before you publicly defame someone. i am not saying that you are wrong, but as far as i know there is no proof to any of your statement.

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Tour News

Tour Rundown: Magical stuff on three tours



Something happened this weekend. Something quite large in the world of professional sport. An athlete with a hearing impediment claimed victory on the world’s stage. Diksha Dagar, former world deaf championship winner and silver medalist in Deaflympics golf, chased down a victory on the Ladies European Tour. In this writer’s mind, the winners of the Players Championship and the Kenya Open, while deserving of praise, take a rightful backseat to a standard bearer.

Ladies European Tour – South African Open goes to Indonesia’s Diksha Dagar

Diksha began the week with a double bogey, and closed it with a trophy in hand. Not the traditional manner of claiming a first, major professional victory, but certainly one for a unique record book. The young Indonesian golfer totaled 76 that first day, but dropped 10 strokes on day two with 66, sitting just two behind the leader. Her only trouble was, the leader was home-country pro Lee-Anne Pace, in search of a 10th Euro Tour win, and first in five years.

On day three, Pace looked every bit a champion, and Dagar, equal parts runner-up. Scotland’s Michele Thomson and Germany’s Esther Henseleit were in the mix as well, ultimately tying for thrid spot at 3 under. As for the challengers? Pace stumbled with bogeys at 13 and 17, to finish at 4 under on the week. Dagar, in Pace’s words, played flawless golf and closed with birdies at 15 and 16, the later on a holed chip shot, to reach 5 under and claim victory. On this occasion, flawless was the diamond.

PGA Tour – The Players Championship has fitting champion on St. Patrick’s Day

At 2:20 EST, 18 golfers were within 2 shots of the lead at TPC Sawgrass. The leaders were in the throes of McIlrahmoid Fever, that wretched illness that strikes most golfers when much is on the line. Even thought it’s not an official major, the Players has every trapping of that august status: a course waiting to bite you on every shot, money, exempt status, peer respect, and P-R-E-S-S-U-R-E. In the end, only four golfers were within two shots of the lead, and two of them didn’t figure until late. Confused? Understandable.

In a nutshell: Jim Furyk made a run for the old guys, but came up one stroke shy. Jon Rahm hoped to claim that first big win of his professional career, but a wretched closing stretch did him in. Tommy Fleetwood, Jason Day, Brian Harman and others all tap-danced their way into, then out, of contention. In the end, it was the leprechaun himself, Rory McIlroy, who recovered from an early double bogey with 33 on the inward half, to raise the trophy of many faces. McIlroy, birdied 11, 12, 15 and 16 on his way to 16-under par. The title certainly cements him as a potential favorite to finish the career grand slam next month at Augusta.

European Tour – Magical Kenya Open ends up in the hands of Migliozzi

Don’t think that others didn’t try to claim the 2019 Magical Kenya Open trophy. The statue of the strutting rhinoceros would make other baubles pale in comparison. The final nine holes of this year’s event were as compelling as the majestic beast whose visage went home with Guido Migliozzi. The first-time champion on the European Tour took the lead early on Sunday, lost it, then found it again with a run of six pars to the finish. His birdies on 10 and 12 were enough to reclaim the top spot, and pars held his space atop the podium.

Last week’s winner, Justin Harding of South Africa, made four birdies and an eagle from holes 10 to 18. It was his unfortunate bogey at lucky No. 13 that kept him one shot behind the Italian. Countryman Louis De Jager also reached 15 under, closing with seven frustrating pars, while in search of the elusive bird to reach 16 under or better. Spaniard Adri Arnaus jumped into the lead with three mid-round birdies, but gave it back with bogey at the par-5 12th. One more birdie coming home was just enough to join the tie for second with the South Africans.


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Tour News

Tiger Woods working with putting coach Matt Killen at The Players



Tiger Woods says he is fit and healthy ahead of this week’s Players Championship, and the 14-time major champion has putting coach Matt Killen alongside him at TPC Sawgrass as he seeks his third title at the event.

Golf Channel’s Tim Rosaforte broke the news on social media, and the move represents the first time Woods has had an instructor of any type since his split with Chris Como in 2017.

Woods struggled with the flat-stick at his last outing at the WGC-Mexico, where he three-putted six times. That event represented the first time that Woods has lost strokes to the field on the greens at a tournament since the Northern Trust back in August, and over his previous 24 rounds, the 43-year-old ranks 42nd in this week’s field for strokes gained putting.

Killen currently works with Justin Thomas, J.B. Holmes, Bud Cauley and Blayne Barber, and speaking to Golf Digest, the putting instructor stated on Monday that he likes what he sees in Woods’ stroke.

“His stroke looked good. His putting is better. I like what I see.”

Woods tees off on Thursday at 1.27 pm ET alongside Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed.


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Tour News

Francesco Molinari joins Callaway tour staff; WITB details



Callaway Golf has announced that the 2018 Open Champion, Francesco Molinari, has joined its tour professional staff.

Molinari will make his debut on the PGA Tour as a Callaway staffer this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, where he will game Callaway woods, irons, wedges, an Odyssey Putter, and a Chrome Soft Golf Ball, as well as a Callaway Staff Bag.

Regarding the announcement, the Italian had this to say

“I am joining Callaway because I’m so impressed by their equipment. More than anything, I’m looking forward to playing the new Epic Flash Driver and the Chrome Soft X Golf Ball. The ball speed gains that I’m getting from the driver are unbelievable. And this golf ball is the best one that I’ve ever played. The performance from tee-to-green, especially the feel and control, is exactly what I want.”

Speaking on the announcement, Callaway Senior VP of Global Sports marketing, Tim Reed stated

“We’re proud to welcome Francesco as our newest Callaway Staff Professional. We’re confident that he will play at an even higher level and enjoy many more great wins with Callaway equipment. He’s added ball speed off the driver with Flash Face Technology, and his performance on approach shots and around the greens has been spectacular with his new Callaway irons, wedges, and our Chrome Soft Ball.”

Currently in the Italian’s bag is an Odyssey Toulon Madison Putter which features a new Stroke Lab Shaft. Speaking on the putter which Molinari is presently using, Sean Toulon, SVP, Callaway Golf & GM, Odyssey Brand, said

“Francesco is a tremendous putter, and he really likes the milled performance he’s seeing from the Madison. And with the Stroke Lab Shaft he’s getting more consistency in the rhythm and the tempo of his stroke. It’s a combination that’s going to help him have a lot of success and make of a lot of big putts.”

Francesco Molinari WITB 2019

Driver: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei White 60 TX

Fairway wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei White 70 TX

Irons: Callaway Apex 19 (4-iron), Apex MB 18 Irons (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X 100

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (50, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X 100

Putter: Odyssey Toulon Madison Stroke Lab

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X




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