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Phil Mickelson says he's cooperating with insider trading probe

By Doug Ferguson

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, May 31 2014 3:27 p.m. MDT

Walters is a legendary figure in sports betting circles, widely feared by sports book operators as one of the few people who can consistently win. He's bet millions on Super Bowls alone, and told "60 Minutes" in a 2011 profile that he has never had a losing year. An early user of computer data, Walters was one of the few bettors whose opinion was so respected that he could move point spreads if it was known what side he was betting on.

Walters and a group of bettors dubbed The Computer Group were indicted in the mid-1980s for running what prosecutors said was a bookmaking operation, but were acquitted at trial. Walters was also indicted on money laundering charges in 1998 and had $2.8 million in cash confiscated from a safe deposit box, but the charges were later dismissed and the money returned.

Walters was also a high stakes gambler on the golf course, regularly playing celebrities or PGA Tour pros for cash. He told Golf Digest that he once lost a $2 million bet and once made a 40-foot putt worth $400,000. Walters teamed up with touring pro partner Fredrik Jacobson to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am by 10 strokes in 2008 while playing as an 11 handicap.

Walters also owns golf courses and auto dealerships. Politically connected in Las Vegas, Walters is also known for his philanthropy, particularly toward Opportunity Village, which trains developmentally disabled adults.

Mickelson, 43, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011. He goes to the U.S. Open next month in North Carolina with a chance to become only the sixth golfer to capture all four major championships. He has not won since the British Open last summer in Scotland.

Mickelson has long had a reputation to gamble, though he has said he scaled back his habit after his son, Evan, was born in 2003 following a troublesome pregnancy. The most publicized payoff was when Mickelson and friends won $560,000 on a preseason bet (28-1 odds) that the Baltimore Ravens would win the 2001 Super Bowl.

On the golf course, he has a long history of playing money games during the practice rounds. He occasionally gets a group of players and caddies together for dinner and small wagering during the NBA and NHL playoffs, and prominent fights.

A year ago, Mickelson was criticized for public comments that tax increases in California kept him from being part of the San Diego Padres' new ownership group and might cause him to leave his native state. He said his federal and state taxes amount to over 60 percent.

Associated Press writer Tom Hays in New York, Associated Press writers Paul Wiseman and Eric Tucker in Washington, AP Sports Writer Tim Dahlberg in Las Vegas and AP Sports Writer Rusty Miller in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.

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