Scottie Scheffler got caught, then came back to score 5 under par at the PGA Championship



CNN

He was the best golfer in the world Booked and fingerprinted Before the second round of the PGA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, when a police officer asked an unusual question: “So you want the full experience today?”

“I don’t know how to answer that” Scotty Scheffler He told one of several officers who are now beginning to rile up the Masters champion who was arrested early Friday in the alleged assault of another officer in a traffic incident outside Valhalla Golf Club.

“Come on man, do you want a sandwich?” The prison officer asked, in a light moment on a day that began with tragedy:

“Sure, I’ll have a sandwich,” Scheffler, who had not yet eaten breakfast, recalled saying.

Under “Place of Work/Occupation,” the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department report for inmate 00654436 listed “professional golfer,” although officers did not immediately identify him.

The time and location of the arrest was determined to be 6:20 a.m at Gate 1 of Valhalla Golf Club on Shelbyville Road, near where a 69-year-old man named John Mills had earlier been fatally struck by a bus while crossing the street to work for a tournament vendor.

Over the course of four surreal hours, Schaeffler, 27, A man of faith once declared that “his identity is not golf.” He was charged with felony assault for allegedly dragging a police officer with his car as he arrived at the course in the predawn hours.

He was handcuffed and taken away during an arrest that was recorded in a video that was widely circulated on social media. He took a shot in an orange jumpsuit and raced back onto the court in time to score a perfect 5-under par that left him near the top of the leaderboard. Schaeffler struggled on Saturday and eliminated himself from competition for the championship.

“I certainly never imagined going to prison, and I certainly never imagined going to prison in the morning before one of my game times,” Scheffler told reporters Friday.

Schaeffler described the incident as a “huge misunderstanding.”

One of the strangest days in the history of professional golf began at 5:07 a.m. Friday, when police said a pedestrian was struck by a shuttle bus in front of Gate 2 in Valhalla.

The pedestrian was later identified as Mills. Mayor Craig Greenberg called him “a Louisville resident who will be greatly missed by his family and our community.”

His family said Mills was “enjoying his time in Valhalla while working in security.” CNN affiliate WDRB In the current situation.

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“He liked to keep busy in retirement. We love him and will miss him,” the Mills family said.

From the Mills family

His family says John Mills enjoyed the practical security at Valhalla Golf Club.

“It’s unfortunate for the person who passed away earlier today. “I don’t think this is talked about enough, or at all,” golfer Collin Morikawa lamented hours after the accident.

In a post-competition press conference on Friday, Scheffler immediately spoke about the Mills family.

“I can’t imagine what they went through this morning,” he said. “One day, he was heading to the golf course to watch a tournament. A few moments later he was trying to cross the street, and now he is no longer with us. I can’t imagine what they are going through. My heart – I feel for them. I’m sorry.”

After Mills was injured, police stopped traffic outside the stadium.

At 6:16 a.m., Schaeffler pulled into stopped traffic in a black 2024 Lexus and steered a PGA player’s courtesy car into the oncoming lane in an attempt to get around the backup.

“I didn’t know what happened at the time other than that there was an accident,” Scheffler said. “I didn’t know it was fatal.”

On a dark and rainy morning, Det. Brian Gillis was directing traffic to Valhalla.

“Detective Gillis was in the middle of the westbound lanes, wearing full LMPD uniform and a yellow high-visibility reflective rain jacket,” the police report said. “Detective Gillis stopped the subject and attempted to give instructions.”

“Scheffler refused to comply and rushed forward, pulling Detective Gillis to the ground,” according to the police report.

Detective Gillis experienced pain, swelling and abrasions in his left wrist and knee. He was taken to the hospital to receive further medical treatment by emergency medical personnel. Detective Gillis’ uniform pants, valued at about $80, were damaged beyond repair.

By Jeff Darlington/ESPN

World No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler was handcuffed by police Friday morning.

ESPN’s Jeff Darlington witnessed the encounter. Scheffler “continued driving about 10 to 20 yards toward the entrance” before he stopped, he wrote on social media.

“The police officer attempted to attach to Schaeffler’s car, and Schaeffler then stopped his vehicle at the entrance to Valhalla,” Darlington said Written on X. “The police officer then began yelling at Schaeffler to get out of the car. When Schaeffler got out of the car, the officer pushed Schaeffler toward the car and immediately handcuffed him.

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Darlington tried to intervene to no avail. He was only several feet away when the golfer was arrested.

At one point, Darlington told ESPN, Scheffler saw the journalist and said, “Can you help?”

Darlington was seen on video briefly following the officers as they took Scheffler away. Police ask him to back off.

“You need to get out of the way. Now, he’s going to jail. He’s going to jail, and there’s nothing you can do about it,” one officer told Darlington, referring to Scheffler.

“The police officers surrounding the patrol car that Scotty Scheffler was in had no idea that he was even Scotty Scheffler,” Darlington said on the air. “I say that because one of the police officers came up to me with his towel and said…can you tell me the name of the person who was just arrested?”

Louisville Department of Corrections

Scotty Scheffler after his arrest.

Scheffler’s attorney, Stephen Romines, said his client was heading to the golf course early to prepare for playing time.

“Due to the combination of traffic and traffic fatalities in the area, the situation was very chaotic. He was acting as directed by another traffic officer and driving the player’s marked vehicle with his credentials visible,” Romenz said in a statement, referring to Schaeffler. “Scottie ignored a different officer’s traffic signals, which led to these charges.”

Several witnesses said Scheffler “did nothing wrong” but drove the car as instructed, according to Romines.

“He stopped immediately upon being directed and never assaulted any officer with his vehicle,” the statement read. “We will plead not guilty and prosecute this matter as needed.”

Scheffler — a new father who described golf as a way to “glorify God” — was seen throughout the day on video wearing gym shorts and a T-shirt as he was led in handcuffs into an orange jail. Shirt for his mug shot.

“I was very upset, to say the least,” Scheffler said. “I was shaking for about an hour.”

Scheffler was booked at 7:28 a.m. Friday. He was charged with felony second-degree assault on a police officer, along with less serious charges of third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and ignoring signals of officers directing traffic, according to Jefferson County court records.

Josh Abner, a spokesman for Jefferson County District Attorney Mike O’Connell’s office, told CNN that prosecutors “are still obtaining information in Mr. Scheffler’s case and will review it and move forward accordingly.”

Scheffler has a court hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

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“My situation will be dealt with. The situation was chaotic and a big misunderstanding,” Schaeffler told reporters, declining to comment on the details of what happened before his arrest.

He sat in the back of the police car and heard an officer trying to find out who he was. “At no time did I try to say my name,” Scheffler said.

The golfer said a “nice chat” with the officer who drove him to prison helped calm his nerves. In prison, the same officer once asked: “Excuse me, can you come with me for a few minutes so I can calm down?” I was never angry. “I was just in shock.”

Andrew Reddington/Getty Images

Scotty Scheffler plays his shot from the 12th tee during the second round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 17, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Scheffler remembers some officers making jokes about how he ended up behind bars before his time playing in the PGA Championship, one of golf’s four major championships. He said he once looked out of his cell and saw himself being arrested on ESPN.

“I spent some time in a prison cell. Tatt. It was part of my warm-up.” “I started my routine and tried to get my heart rate down as much as possible.”

Later that morning, an officer came to the holding cell and said, “Let’s go… get ready,” and motioned for Scheffler to fold his rug.

“I stuck my head in the TV and said, ‘Oh, maybe I can get there.’ We’ll see how bad the traffic is going in and out,” Scheffler said.

Shortly before 10:08 a.m., Scheffler walked to the tee box carrying an umbrella in a light rain.

Chants of “Scotty!” my silence! Scotty!” broke out among the spectators.

“Free Scotty!” one of the men shouted, sparking cheers from the crowd.

Scheffler hit his first shot of the day with a crisp flick of the racket, sending the ball soaring into the overcast sky and unleashing applause and another round of cheers from the spectators. Some wrote “Free Scottie” in markers on their shirts.

After 18 holes and climbing the leaderboard, he summed up his feelings in the press conference.

“It was nice to be able to get inside the ropes and do what I love to do,” he said.

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