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Scottie Scheffler was booked into a Kentucky jail on May 17, 2024. (Louisville Department of Corrections)

World No. 1 Golfer Scottie Scheffler Arrested ahead of PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler ended Thursday within striking distance of the lead in the PGA Championship, but was arrested and charged after he allegedly failed to follow police orders as he was about to enter Valhalla Golf Course in Louisville, Kentucky, for the second round of the tournament.

He released a statement before he teed off in the second round.

“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 said. “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.”

He was released without bail and arrived back on the course at around 9:12 a.m. ET.

Scheffler faces a felony charge of assaulting a police officer, along with misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding traffic signals, according to ESPN.

ESPN reported that Scheffler drove past a police officer in his SUV with markings on the door indicating it was a PGA Championship courtesy vehicle. The officer screamed at him to stop and then attached himself to the car until Scheffler stopped his vehicle about 10 yards later. ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington characterized it as a “misunderstanding with traffic flow” as authorities were investigating a traffic fatality earlier in the morning.

“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,” ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington posted on X.

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Louisville Metro Police stopped traffic outside the golf course around 5 a.m. after a pedestrian trying to cross the road to the club and was struck and killed by a shuttle bus. The incident prompted PGA to delay the start time of the tournament of the day.

“Scheffler was then walked over to the police car, placed in the back, in handcuffs, very stunned about what was happening, looked toward me as he was in those handcuffs and said, ‘Please help me,’” Darlington said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” “He very clearly did not know what was happening in the situation. It moved very quickly, very rapidly, very aggressively.”

A police report said a detective was knocked down after Scheffler refused “to comply and accelerated forward.” The detective was allegedly dragged to the ground and he suffered injuries to his wrist and knee.”

Scheffler’s attorney, Steve Romines, released a statement on the incident.

“In the early hours of the morning in advance of his tee time Scottie was going to the course to begin his pre round preparation,” he said, via Sports Illustrated. “Due to the combination of event traffic and a traffic fatality in the area it was a very chaotic situation He was proceeding as directed by another traffic officer and driving a marked player’s vehicle with credentials visible. In the confusion, Scottie is alleged to have disregarded a different officer’s traffic signals resulting in these charges.

“Multiple eyewitnesses have confirmed that he did not do anything wrong but was simply proceeding as directed. He stopped immediately upon being directed to and never at any point assaulted any officer with his vehicle. We will litigate this matter as needed and he will be completely exonerated.”

Scheffler entered the PGA Championship as the overwhelming favorite, according to oddsmakers. He won four of his last five PGA Tour events including the Masters. In the other tournament, he tied for second. He is only the third PGA Tour player in the last 30 years — Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh are the others — with a stretch of five consecutive top-two finishes.

Scheffler is seeking to become the first golfer since Jordan Spieth in 2015 to start a year with back-to-back major championship victories.

–Lee Hartman | Metro Voice

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