Scottie Scheffler arrested before start of Round 2 of the PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler arrested before start of Round 2 of the PGA Championship


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – World No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler was booked into a Louisville jail Friday morning after being detained by police near the entrance of Valhalla Golf Club, the site of this week’s 2024 PGA Championship.

Scheffler, 27, was arrested and booked shortly before 7:30 a.m., according to online records published by the Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections. He is being charged with second degree assault on a police officer, which is a felony, as well as criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from an officer directing traffic.

Scheffler, the reigning Master’s champion, shot a 4-under-par 67 in Thursday’s opening round and is tied for 12th. He was released from jail and arrived at Valhalla after 9 a.m., roughly an hour before his scheduled tee time of 10:08 a.m.

Louisville-based attorney Steve Romines confirmed Scheffler’s charges to local reporters in a brief interview Friday but declined to elaborate on the incident.

“He was going into Valhalla to work out and get ready for his tee time,” Romines said. “(Police) were directing traffic, he held his media credential out and was going in like they’ve been instructed to. Apparently there had been a traffic accident, or maybe even a fatality down the road, and that had changed the traffic patterns, and he was unaware of that. And, I think the officer that was directing traffic, was maybe not part of the event traffic detail and so that’s where the communication, miscommunication arose and that’s why we’re here.”

ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington, who witnessed the arrest, wrote on social media that “a misunderstanding with traffic flow led to (Scheffler’s) attempt to drive past a police officer” toward the golf course. The second round of play at Valhalla had been delayed after a pedestrian was struck and killed near the entrace to the golf course, resulting in significant police activity in the area.

Louisville police and Scheffler’s agent did not immediately reply to messages from USA TODAY Sports seeking comment and more information. Romines also did not immediately reply to an email seeking additional comment.

Darlington posted a video clip on social media of Scheffler being escorted by police while in handcuffs ahead of the second round of play, and described the events as he witnessed them on social media and on ESPN. The video shows police detaining Scheffler and an officer telling Darlington that the golfer is going to jail. Darlington added that Scheffler, while in handcuffs, looked toward to the reporter and said: “Please help me.”

“They told him to stop,” Darlington said in an appearance on ESPN. “When he didn’t stop, the police officer attached himself to the vehicle. Scheffler then traveled another 10 yards before stopping the car. The police officer then grabbed at his arm attempting to pull him out of the car before Scheffler eventually opened the door, at which point the police officer pulled Scheffler out of the car, pushed him up against the car and immediately placed him in handcuffs.”

The arrest came as a shock to the world of golf, where Scheffler has become known as not only one of the top ball-strikers on the PGA Tour but also one of its most affable characters. A recent article on dubbed him “golf’s best player (and) maybe its most charming, too.”

 Contributing: Tom Schad; Scooby Axson

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