PINEHURST, N.C. – Phil Mickelson did little wrong during Thursday's first round of the U.S. Open at maddening Pinehurst No. 2.
After the round he repeated that he's done nothing wrong regarding an insider trading investigation.
Mickelson, who shot an even-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 Times reported 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 separate trades for Dean Foods just before the stock rose.
Mickelson, a record six-time runner-up at the U.S. Open, said he couldn't say anything about the Times report and 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. So like I said before, with an investigation going on, I'm not going to comment any further on it. But I'll continue to say that I've done absolutely nothing wrong.
" … I really don't want to say much about it. I do have a lot to say and I will say it at the right time. I've got a lot to say, I just can't say it right now."
Under cloud cover in the morning, 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 making birdie on the par-5 5th hole, Mickelson bogeyed two of the final four holes to shoot even-par 70.
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 when he used his driver on nine occasions.
"We had an early tee time and the greens were soft. And there was some low scoring out there, some good scoring, I should say, not low," Mickelson said. "It's a good start. I didn't hurt myself any. I didn't throw anything away on some of the short ones. Right now it's my driving. I didn't miss a fairway with my driver, which is unusual thing for me. The driver feels really good. I think that's the club that is going to help me play well this week. And the one club that's hurting me is the putter. So I've got to get that turned around the next couple of days."
With a win this week, Mickelson, who will turn 44 on Monday, would join only five others – Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen – who have completed the career Grand Slam. The win could also come on Father's Day. And come in an area that screams golf and southern hospitality that Mickelson adores, on a course that he feels very comfortable.
"This is a special week. This is a special tournament, a tournament that means a lot to me," Mickelson said. "I don't know if it will be this week or next year or the year after. I do still have 100% confidence that I'll be able to break through and get one. I do feel, though, that this tournament gives me a great chance on this golf course, because I don't feel like I have to be perfect."
THURSDAY AT THE U.S. OPEN PHOTO GALLERY: