Phil Mickelson’s recent brush with white-collar crime might have a professional effect as well.
In Doug Ferguson’s Associated Press story filed late last week detailing a timeline of a events surrounding Mickelson’s involvement in an alleged insider trading scandal, the AP writer laid out the eventual and potential disciplinary action Mickelson could face that goes beyond the “$931,000 (with interest)” government payback.
Mickelson’s association with Billy Walters, a professional sports gambler, brings into question some vague language in the PGA Tour’s rulebook that forbid players from associating with those of Walters’ ilk.
Perhaps more troublesome is the SEC allegation that Mickelson had placed bets with Walters prior to the tip, he owed Walters money at the time of the trading and that he repaid Walters a month later “in part with the proceeds of his trading.”
That raises some uncomfortable questions.
How much did Mickelson owe Walters? If he placed bets with Walter, what were they for?
The complaint has the attention of the PGA Tour, which has a section in its player handbook under “Conduct of Players” related to gambling. One part says that a player shall not “associate with or have dealings with persons whose activities, including gambling, might reflect adversely upon the integrity of the game of golf.”
“That’s something we’re in the process of looking at and determining,” tour spokesman Ty Votaw said.