Scheffler charged with police officer assault before PGA Championship second round

May 17, 2024 – 7:37 AM PDT

A mugshot of 27-year-old golfer Scott Alexander Scheffler after he was detained byt the police following an incident in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., May 17, 2024. Louisville Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS
A mugshot of 27-year-old golfer Scott Alexander Scheffler after he was detained byt the police following an incident in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., May 17, 2024. Louisville Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) – World number one Scottie Scheffler was arrested and charged with the assault of a police officer in what he called a “chaotic situation” before being released in time to start his second round at the PGA Championship on Friday.

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Scheffler, who was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car, said the incident was due to a misunderstanding with regards to traffic flow following a fatal accident in the area around Valhalla Golf Club.

“This morning, I was proceeding as directed by police officers,” Scheffler said on social media.

“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.”

When Scheffler arrived at the 10th tee at Valhalla to start his second round after a brief warm-up session he appeared relaxed and was greeted by loud cheers and chants of “Scottie.”

According to an ESPN report a police officer attempted to attach himself to Scheffler’s car and then the Masters champion stopped his vehicle at the entrance to Valhalla.

ESPN also said the police officer then yelled at Scheffler to get out of the car, and when he did he shoved the golfer against the vehicle and placed him in handcuffs.

Photos were later published online of an unsmiling Scheffler wearing a jail-issued orange jumpsuit.

Steve Romines, a local attorney hired on Scheffler’s behalf, said the golfer was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer.

“He did exactly as he was instructed to do to enter the premises,” said Romines. “We’ll just deal with the court system as it comes.”

After arriving at Valhalla under a steady rain, Scheffler was greeted by plenty of encouragement from the fans and headed straight to the driving range.

Scheffler is seeking his fifth win in six starts and a second consecutive major.

British Open champion Brian Harman, who is playing in a group with Scheffler, commented on the situation before setting out for the second round.

“Just a wild morning,” said Harman. “I don’t know all the details but I know, knowing Scottie, that he is one hell of a dude and I sure am glad that he is going to be out here to play.”

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto Editing by Toby Davis

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