Scottie Scheffler fires 66 following 'huge misunderstanding,' arrest

League: Golf

Posted on: 17 May, 2024 at 08:46 PM

Credit: Clare Grant/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- It was a day the world's top golfer could have never expected.

Scottie Scheffler was arrested and charged with felony assault after an incident with Metro Police trying to get into Valhalla Golf Club after 6 a.m. He was released from jail at 8:40 and teed off in the second round of the PGA Championship at 10:08 a.m.

And then the reigning Masters champion played like nothing out of the ordinary happened, carding a 5-under-par 66. He is at 9 under for the first two days of the PGA and trailed midday leader Collin Morikawa by two strokes.

"It was a chaotic situation and a big misunderstanding," Scheffler said of his arrest after the round. "I can't comment on any of the specifics of it, so I feel like y'all are going to be disappointed, but I can't comment on any specifics, but my situation will be handled. It was just a big misunderstanding."

It all started with a fatal accident on Shelbyville Road, the four-lane road at the entrance of Valhalla. It's the only road that leads into the golf course. A PGA vendor later identified as John Mills was struck by a bus and killed while trying to cross the road at 5:09 a.m.

The road was shut down in both directions for police to investigate.

According to ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington, who witnessed the incident, Scheffler drove past a police officer a little after 6 a.m. in his PGA Championship vehicle. An officer screamed at him to stop and then grabbed onto the car and Scheffler continued to drive for about 10-15 yards. According to the police report, officer Bryan Gillis was dragged to the ground, suffered "pain and swelling, and abrasions in his left wrist and knee" and his uniform pants were "damaged beyond repair."

Louisville police said Scheffler was booked on four charges, including second-degree assault of a police officer. He is also charged with third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic.

"I was just really confused," Scheffler said. "I was doing my best to defuse the situation really. Yeah, I was just sitting there just trying to remain as calm as possible. Like I said, it was pretty chaotic with what had happened this morning. Once again, I can't imagine what the family is going through. But like I said, I was doing my best to defuse whatever was going on, so I was just sitting there in the back of the car just listening to the police officer as he's trying to figure out who I am, figure out my name.

"They were trying to find me in the system, but there was something wrong with going across state lines with the Social Security Number and stuff like that. All around, it was a very confusing and chaotic situation, but I did my best to just follow instructions and do as I was told as I was sitting there handcuffed."

Scheffler said he was confused at what was happening and shaking most of the time. He sat in a holding cell Friday morning and saw his face on ESPN, when he learned tee times were delayed 80 minutes due to the accident and traffic.

"I didn't know what time it was. I didn't know what was going on," he said. "When I was sitting in like the holding cell or whatever, there was a TV there and I could see myself on the TV on ESPN. ‘Get Up' was on, so in the corner it showed the time and it said they were delayed, and I was kind of thinking about my tee time, I was like, well, maybe I could be able to get out."

Despite being "rattled," Scheffler said there was never any thought of not playing.

"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.'"

Scheffler obtained legal counsel from Louisville attorney Steve Romines and was released at 8:40 a.m. He was driven back to Valhalla and arrived at 9:12 in the back of a car that had Jimmy Kirchdorfer, one of the Valhalla owners, in the front.

Scheffler went into the clubhouse and emerged as he headed towards the practice area around 9:30 a.m. His tee time was 10:08.

The 27-year-old said it took a couple of holes for his mind and game to settle in, but he did start at No. 10 and went birdie, bogey, birdie. He ended up shooting 34 on the back nine and then made three birdies on the front for a 32.

"I feel like my head is still spinning," he said. "I can't really explain what happened this morning. I did spend some time stretching in a jail cell. That was a first for me. That was part of my warmup. I was just sitting there waiting and I started going through my warmup, I felt like there was a chance I may be able to still come out here and play. I started going through my routine and I tried to get my heart rate down as much as I could today, but like I said, I still feel like my head is spinning a little bit. But I was fortunate to be able to make it back out and play some golf today."

He added: "As far as best rounds of my career, I would say it was pretty good. I definitely never imagined ever going to jail, and I definitely never imagined going to jail the morning before one of my tee times for sure."

--Field Level Media