News Column

Mickelson quiet about investigation but not game

June 12, 2014

By Steve DiMeglio, @Steve_DiMeglio, USA TODAY Sports

Phil Mickelson did little wrong Thursday during the first round of the U.S. Open at maddening Pinehurst No. 2.

After the round, he repeated that he has done nothing wrong regarding an insider trading investigation.

Mickelson, who shot par 70, was asked about a New York Times story that reported Mickelson's role in the FBI investigation was said to be overstated.

The Timesreported that Mickelson did not trade in shares of Clorox as investor Carl Icahn was trying to take over the company in 2011, according to four people briefed on the matter. However, Mickelson still faces an investigation over trades for Dean Foods just before the stock rose.

Mickelson, a record six-time runner-up in the U.S. Open, said he couldn't say anything about the investigation.

"But I'll continue to say I haven't done anything wrong," he said. "I'm willing to help out, love to help out any way on the investigation."

Mickelson started his round with a birdie from close range on the 10th hole and added another birdie from 3 feet on the 14th to move to 2-under. A poor chip, however, led to a bogey on the next hole. And after birdie on the fifth hole, Mickelson bogeyed two of his final four holes.

While he was disappointed in how the round ended, he was satisfied with the 70 and ecstatic about his driver. Mickelson didn't miss a fairway on the nine occasions he used his driver.

"It's a good start. I didn't hurt myself any," he said. "I didn't throw anything away on some of the short ones."

With a victory this weekend, Mickelson, who marks his 44th birthday Monday, would join five others -- Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen -- who have completed the career Grand Slam. The win also could come on Father's Day.

"This is a special week. This is a special tournament, a tournament that means a lot to me," Mickelson said.

Kevin Liles, USA TODAY Sports

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Source: USA Today

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