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13 Jun 2024 5:54
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  •   Home > News > Law and Order

    Scottie Scheffler arrested and charged at PGA Championship just before second round

    World number one Scottie Scheffler is detained by police just hours before the second round of the PGA Championship after trying to drive past a traffic incident.


    World number one golfer Scottie Scheffler has been arrested and charged with four offences, including one felony, before shooting a five-under 66 at the second round of the PGA Championship.

    This year's Masters champion was led away from Valhalla Golf Club in handcuffs just before the start of the second round in what he described as "a big misunderstanding" with police.

    The start of the round was pushed back by 80 minutes "due to an accident near the course", according to official tournament communications.

    According to ESPN, Scheffler, who was not involved in the accident, attempted to drive around the incident about an hour later, before a police officer grabbed on to the golfer's car.

    ESPN said Scheffler then stopped his vehicle at the entrance to Valhalla and exited the car after being prompted by the officer, who placed him in handcuffs.

    Video posted on X, formerly Twitter, by ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington appeared to show Scheffler being led away, asking "Can you please help?" before an officer said "right now, he's going to jail".

    According to an incident report filed by the Louisville Metro Police Department, Detective Bryan Gillis was directing traffic near Gate 1 of Valhalla, was wearing a full police uniform and a "high-visibility yellow reflective rain jacket".

    Attempting to stop Scottie Scheffler from entering Valhalla Golf Club, the officer was dragged to the ground and suffered "pain, swelling and abrasions" to his left wrist and knee.

    Per the report, Gillis stopped Scheffler to give instructions but the latter "refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging Detective Gillis to the ground".

    The report also noted that Gillis' uniform pants were damaged beyond repair and that he was transported to a local hospital for further medical evaluation.

    Scheffler was charged with second-degree assault on a police officer, a felony, as well as third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic.

    Steve Romines, a local attorney reportedly assigned to Scheffler's case, told local media 

    Scheffler was "unaware that there'd been a wreck" and thought he was allowed to enter Valhalla.

    "Scottie will cooperate fully [with the investigation]," Romines said.

    Scheffler released a statement saying the whole thing was "a big misunderstanding" with the police officers directing traffic outside the golf club.

    "This morning, I was proceeding as directed by police officers," he said.

    "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.

    "Of course, all of us involved in the tournament express our deepest sympathies to the family of a man who passed away in the earlier accident this morning."

    Scheffler went on to shoot a second-round 66, despite the chaotic morning. 

    "I was pretty rattled to say the least. You know, the officer took me to the jail, was very kind, was great. Kind of had a nice chat. Calmed me down," Scheffler said.

    "This one older officer looked at me, I was doing my fingerprints, he was like: 'You want the full experience today?' I'm like, I don't know how to answer that. He said, 'Do you want a sandwich?' I go 'sure, I'll take a sandwich, didn't eat breakfast or anything'."

    Friday's chaos came in the wake of a far more serious accident, which Scheffler said in his statement "truly puts everything in perspective".

    Per Louisville Metro Police (LMPD), a shuttle bus struck and killed an adult male pedestrian as he was crossing the road near the front gate of the Valhalla course on Friday morning (local time).

    "We had a pedestrian that was struck by one of the shuttle buses between gates one and two on Shelbyville Road by Valhalla this morning," LMPD spokesperson Dwight Mitchell told local station NewsRadio 840 WHAS.

    "It's an unfortunate thing that happened. He was crossing south to north across Shelbyville Road. Unfortunately, the bus didn't see him and struck the individual.

    "He was pronounced dead on the scene and our traffic unit is investigating at this time."

    The PGA of America released a statement saying the person killed was working at the event.

    "We were devastated to learn that a worker with one of our vendors was tragically struck and killed by a shuttle bus outside Valhalla Golf Club," a statement read.

    "This is heartbreaking to all of us involved with the PGA Championship. We extend our sincere condolences to their family and loved ones."

    Reuters/ABC

    © 2024 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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