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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

World’s Best Golfer Arrested Attempting to Enter PGA Championship

  • Scheffler was attempting to enter the tournament after a shuttle bus struck and killed a pedestrian.
  • The top-ranked golfer was booked and charged with four counts, including second-degree assault of a police officer and reckless driving.
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Scottie Scheffler, this year’s Masters champion and the No. 1–ranked golfer in the world, was arrested by police early Friday morning outside of Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, while trying to make his way to the second round of the PGA Championship.

A traffic jam resulted after a pedestrian was hit and killed by a tournament shuttle bus. ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington was on the scene when Scheffler attempted to drive past a police officer to enter the golf course. Scheffler was handcuffed and put into the back of a cop car. Darlington said the officers were not aware who Scheffler was, and they told the golfer he was going to jail.

Darlington later appeared on television and described the wild scene: A cop “attached himself” to Scheffler’s car and the golfer kept driving for “10 yards.” The officer then tried to pull Scheffler out of the car before Scheffler opened the door and was arrested. According to Darlington, the golf star asked the reporter for help before he was put in the back of the police car.

Scheffler was booked and charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic, according to a Louisville-area TV station.

The official police report says that the officer stopped Scheffler and attempted to give him instructions, but the golfer “refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging Detective Gillis to the ground.” It also stated that Gillis “suffered pain, swelling, and abrasions to his left wrist and knee.” The cop’s pants, which the report says were valued at $80, were also “damaged beyond repair.”

Louisville police published his mugshot online early Friday morning, and he was released shortly after his booking. He returned to the course, apparently driven by one of the club’s owners, and began warming up to play.

Scheffler’s lawyers denied the allegations.

“Multiple eyewitnesses have confirmed that he did not do anything wrong but was simply proceeding as directed,” the lawyer, Steve Romines, said. “He stopped immediately upon being directed to and never at any point assaulted any officer with his vehicle.”

Shortly before his scheduled tee time Friday morning, Scheffler posted a statement on Instagram.

“This morning, I was proceeding as directed by police officers. 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,” he wrote. “I never intended to disregard any of the instructions. I’m hopeful to put this to the side and focus on golf today.

“Of course, all of us involved in the tournament express our deepest sympathies to the family of the man who passed away in the earlier accident this morning. It truly puts everything in perspective.”

Scheffler, who sits in a tie for 12th place after a four-under-par 67 on Thursday, teed off at his scheduled time Friday morning 10:08 a.m. ET. All Round 2 starting times were delayed by one hour and 20 minutes due to the death outside the course Friday morning. Rain continues to pour in Louisville, but so far the PGA Championship has not been delayed because of weather.

This developing news story has been updated.

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