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PGA Championship 2024: Scottie Scheffler arrested and charged with felony by Louisville police following Friday incident at Valhalla

May 17, 2024

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MAY 17: Scottie Scheffler of the United States is seen before teeing off on the tenth tee during the second round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 17, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Michael Reaves

LOUISVILLE — Scottie Scheffler shot a five-under 66 during Friday's second round of the 2024 PGA Championship, leaving him three shots off the lead—a remarkable result given the fact that he was arrested earlier in the morning by Louisville Metro Police outside Valhalla Golf Club.

The World No. 1 golfer was charged with second degree assault of a police officer, criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from an officer directing traffic.

At around 6:15 a.m., Scheffler, driving in a marked player-courtesy vehicle, is alleged to have driven past a police officer as he was arriving at the golf course ahead of his morning tee time. Entry to the course had been halted due to a traffic issue stemming from an accident outside the club unrelated to Scheffler in which a shuttle bus hit and killed a man working for a PGA vendor at roughly 5 a.m.

According to the police report, Scheffler swerved into opposing traffic to avoid backed-up traffic. Detective Bryan Gillis stopped Scheffler but the report says that Scheffler “refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging [the officer] to the ground.” Gillis was reported to have suffered pain, swelling and abrasions to his left wrist and knee” and was taken to a hospital.

When Scheffler eventually stopped and exited his car, he was placed him in handcuffs and put him in the back of a police cruiser.

ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington was on the scene and recorded video of the moment Scheffler was detained by police. Scheffler allegedly pleaded for help to an ESPN crew standing nearby. When Darlington attempted to intervene, the police officer responded, according to Darlington, “There’s nothing you can do, he’s going to jail.”

Scheffler was booked Louisville Metro Police at roughly 7:28 a.m., when the charges were officially filed. He was then released by police at 8:40 a.m. without bail and proceeded to Valhalla Golf Club in an effort to make his 10:08 a.m. tee time. An arraignment on the charges has been scheduled for for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 21.

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Scheffler's mugshot as released by the Louisville PD.

Scheffler released a statement describing the incident as "a big misunderstanding."

“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. 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.”

Later in the day, Steve Romines, a Louisville attorney hired to represent Scheffler, also released a statement.

“[Scheffler] was proceeding as directed by another traffic officer and driving a marked player’s vehicle with credentials visible,” Romines said. “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 arrived at the course at 9:12 a.m., warmed up on the range and teed off along with Brian Harman and Wyndham Clark. His Friday performance left him at nine under for the tournament, in a tied for fourth place, three strokes back of leader Xander Schauffele.

Scheffler, the World No. 1, has won four of his past five tournaments, highlighted by his second Masters title and becoming the first player to successfully defend the Players Championship.

Scheffler was supposed to tee off at 8:48 a.m. Friday before a shuttle-bus accident delayed Friday. The PGA of America announced that all times would be delayed by 1 hour and 20 minutes due to the accident.