8am Round-Up: Phil Mickelson cited in insider trading case

Phil Mickelson was named in opening remarks in a case in Manhattan against a Las Vegas gambler. Picture: Brian Spurlock
Phil Mickelson was named in opening remarks in a case in Manhattan against a Las Vegas gambler. Picture: Brian Spurlock
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A prosecutor and a defence attorney at a criminal insider trading trial have both said that former Open and Scottish Open champion Phil Mickelson is pivotal to proving their case.

In opening remarks on Wednesday, jurors were told that what they’ll learn about Mickelson will help them decide whether a professional Las Vegas gambler earned over $40 million illegally through insider trading.

The golfer’s name first arose in statements when Assistant US Attorney Michael Ferrara told Manhattan federal court jurors that gambler William “Billy” Walters encouraged friends, including Mickelson, to buy stock in Dean Foods Co., a Dallas-based company that is one of the nation’s largest processors of milk for retailers.

Ferrara said Walters knew inside information he got from a former Dean Foods board member was a sure thing. He called it “another way you know Walters had the hottest information in town.”

Mickelson was spared from criminal charges after the Securities and Exchange Commission accused him in a civil lawsuit of making nearly $1 million in a 2012 stock trade that Walters suggested he make. The golfer agreed to repay it.

Insider trading consists of buying or selling securities based on significant non-public information obtained through a breach of confidence.

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The Lawries - Paul and Craig - are the last Scots standing in the Sunningdale Foursomes.

Playing in the event for the first time, the Aberdonian duo are through to the last 16 in Berkshire after recording a brace of victories on the second day.

They were 4&2 winners over Jon Baker-Odlin and Alex Beckett in the morning before scoring a 5&3 success against Richard Hooper and Mattew Arbourne in the third round.

“We’ve both played lovely so far,” reported Lawrie snr, with the pair now taking on Linn Grant and Martha Lewis and giving them 10 shots.

The two other all-Scottish pairings both went out in the last 32. Sandy Lyle and Prestwick amateur James Bunch lost 3&1 to two-time Scottish Challenge winner Jack Senior and Bethany Garton while Michele Thomson and Ross Cameron fell 3&2 to Graham Powell and Henry Smart.

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Jack McDonald is chasing a first professional victory on the MENA Tour in Morocco after storming into contention heading into the final round of the Casablanca Open.

The Ayrshireman posted a four-under-par 67 in the second round at Palmeraie Country Club to sit just three shots off the lead, held by Englishman Lee Corfield.

McDonald, who turned professional early last year on the back of a promising amateur career, which included a Walker Cup win at Royal Lytham in 2015, birdied the third, fifth, 10th and 17th in a flawless effort.

Three shots off the pace after an opening 69, Danny Kay slipped to eight back following a 73, sitting alongside both Grant Forrest (67) and Daniel Hendry (69) on level-par.

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Two bogeys in his last three holes cost Ross Drummond ground in today’s opening round of Sharjah Senior Masters - the first event on either the European Tour, Senior Tour or Challenge Tour to be played on a nine-hole course.

The Paisley man, who had been close to the lead after getting to four-under, had to settle for a two-under-par 70 after his bogeys at the 16th and 18th.

American Dennis Clark had set the clubhouse target with a 66 that included an eagle and seven birdies.

Gordon Brand Jnr, the only other Scot in the field at Sharjah Golf & Country Club, opened with a 72.

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Greig Hutcheon and Sean Lawrie share the lead heading into today’s second and final round in the North-East Alliance Championship at Portlethen.

It followed the pair opening with matching six-under-par 66s, with Tartan No 1 Hutcheon joining Lawrie in top spot after making an eagle-3 at the last.