Star golfer Scottie Scheffler arrested prior to start of PGA Championship’s 2nd round: Report

Written by on May 19, 2024

ESPN

(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1 golfer in the world, was arrested Friday morning for allegedly driving past a police roadblock at the Valhalla Golf Club, according to ESPN.

The arrest came about an hour after a deadly accident near the golf course. Around 5 a.m., a man was fatally struck by a shuttle bus as he tried to cross a road near the course holding the PGA Championship, according to a statement released by the Louisville Metro Police Department.

The roadblocks and confusion over the accident allegedly led Scheffler to drive past police who were on site, according to reports from ESPN.

“This morning, I was proceeding as directed by police officers,” Scheffler said in a statement on social media. “It was a very chaotic situation, understandably so considering the tragic accident that had occurred earlier, and there was a big misunderstanding of what I thought I was being asked to do. I never intended to disregard any of the instructions. I’m hopeful to put this to the side and focus on golf today.”

Scheffler was released from jail and returned to the course about an hour before his 10:08 a.m. tee time. He ended up shooting a 6-under 66 and moved into the top 5 by the time he finished his round.

ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington, who witnessed the altercation between Scheffler and police, described the scene on social media, writing, “[A] police officer attempted to attach himself to Scheffler’s car, and Scheffler then stopped his vehicle at the entrance to Valhalla. The police officer then began to scream at Scheffler to get out of the car. When Scheffler exited the vehicle, the officer shoved Scheffler against the car and immediately placed him in handcuffs. He is now being detained in the back of a police car.”

Scheffler refused to comply with the police officer’s request to stop and “accelerated forward,” dragging the detective to the ground, according to the police report. The officer was taken to the hospital after suffering “pain, swelling, and abrasions to his left wrist and knee.” The detective’s uniform pants, “valued at approximately $80, were damaged beyond repair,” according to the report.

The golf star now faces charges of second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic, according to police.

There is no body camera footage of the incident between Scheffler and police, Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg told CNN on Saturday. However, another angle of the incident, from a “fixed camera” across the street, does exist and will be released in the coming days, he noted.

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office is “still obtaining information” in Scheffler’s case and “will review and proceed accordingly,” spokesperson Josh Abner said in a statement Friday.

Scheffler is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday morning.

“I feel like my head’s still spinning,” Scheffler said in a press conference after his round. “I can’t really explain what happened this morning. I did spend some time stretching in a jail cell. That was a first for me. You know, it was part of my warmup. I was just sitting there waiting, and I started going through my warmup. I felt like there was a chance I may be able to still come out here and play. And so I started going through my routine, and I try to get my heart rate down as much as I could today.”

The PGA of America said in a statement: “Our primary concern today remains with the family of John Mills, who lost his life in a tragic accident early this morning while reporting to work. As it relates to the incident involving Scottie Scheffler, we are fully cooperating as local authorities review what took place. While the legal process plays out, questions should be directed to Scheffler’s attorney or local authorities.”

Scheffler, 27, has won four tournaments on the tour this year, including a dominant performance at The Masters in April — his second Masters win and second major victory as well. He also won back-to-back marquee events in March at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship.

He shot a 4-under 67 in the first round of this week’s PGA Championship — the second major of the year — and was five shots back of leader Xander Schauffele.

Scheffler has career earnings of $61 million on the PGA Tour alone, 10th all-time, according to the tour.

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