Scottie Scheffler charged after altercation with police at PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler charged after altercation with police at PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler was charged after being handcuffed and detained by police on his way to Valhalla for the start of his second round at the PGA Championship on Friday.

Golf’s world No1, who had finished the opening day on four-under par, was trying to get into the venue following an incident in which a pedestrian was hit and killed by a shuttle bus.

Scheffler was not involved in that incident but, according to ESPN, got into a spat with a police officer when he tried to drive around the incident despite reportedly being advised not to.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, the situation moved “very quickly, very rapidly and very aggressively”, with Scheffler asking the reporter to “please help me”.

Darlington said: “Traffic had been backed up and building, Scottie Scheffler tried to enter Valhalla Golf Club using a side median, at which point a police officer instructed him to stop.

“Scheffler stopped the vehicle as he turned into Valhalla Golf Club entrance, about 10 to 20 yards from the point at which the police officer first told him to stop.” The police officer then “instructed Scheffler to get out of the car” and handcuffed him.

A police officer at the scene told onlookers: “Right now, he’s going to jail and there’s nothing you can do.”

Scottie Scheffler being detained by police (ESPN)
Scottie Scheffler being detained by police (ESPN)

According to the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMPD), Scheffler was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from an officer directing traffic.

An arraignment has reportedly been scheduled for 9am ET on Tuesday morning (May 21) at the Kentucky Court of Justice, according to court records.

In a statement released on social media, Scheffler said: “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.”

Scottie Scheffler walks to 11th hole after returning to Valhalla (AP)
Scottie Scheffler walks to 11th hole after returning to Valhalla (AP)

A statement from the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) of America read: “Our primary concern today remains with the family of John Mills, who lost his life in a tragic accident early this morning while reporting to work.

“As it relates to the incident involving Scottie Scheffler, we are fully cooperating as local authorities review what took place.

“While the legal process plays out, questions should to be directed to Scheffler’s attorney or local authorities."

Scheffler, playing in his first tournament since the birth of his son Barrett, was later released to begin his preparations for round two.

The round was delayed by an hour and 20 minutes in the wake of the tragedy, which resulted in traffic chaos heading into the venue.

In a statement over the death, Louisville Metro Police Department said: “About 5am this morning, the LMPD responded to a call of a vehicle collision involving a pedestrian and a bus.

“Our preliminary investigation found that an adult male pedestrian was crossing Shelbyville Road south to north when he was struck by a vehicle.

“As a result, the pedestrian received fatal injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene. The LMPD traffic unit is investigating."

Scheffler began his second round at the 10th hole along with playing partners Wyndham Clark and Brian Harman, with some spectators wearing t-shirts with his mugshot and ‘Free Scottie’ messages.