Washington: A federal investigation is probing whether a top-ranked professional golfer and a high-stakes gambler got illegal stock tips from billionaire investor Carl Icahn, US media reported on Friday.

Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and US Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating the stock trading patters of champion golfer Phil Mickelson and Las Vegas gambler William 'Billy' Walters, alleging they may have gotten inside information from Icahn about his investment plans, according to the reports.

The probe is focused in particular on investments the men made in cleaning products maker Clorox, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported. Icahn's company made a takeover bid for Clorox in 2011 that caused stock prices in the company to jump.

His bid was ultimately rebuffed, and prices dropped. Walters and Mickelson each made very well-timed trades. This led investigators to probe whether they were acting on information Icahn gave them about his company's takeover attempt.

Insider trading - profiting on the stock market from inside information not available to the general investing public - is illegal. However, it is not yet clear whether Mickelson or Walters were acting on information given to them by Icahn.