Scottie Scheffler Issues Statement On Arrest At PGA Championship

By Jason Hall

May 17, 2024

2024 PGA Championship - Round Two
Photo: Getty Images

World No. 1 golfer and 2024 Masters champion Scottie Scheffler issued a statement after being detained by Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections outside the entrance of Valhalla Golf Club prior to the second round of the PGA Championship Friday (May 17) morning.

“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," Scheffler said via ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington, who witnessed and initially reported his arrest. "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.”

Scheffler was seen taking swings at the driving range ahead of his delayed scheduled 10:00 a.m. ET tee time Friday morning. Rule 5.3A exception 3 in the rules of golf, which decides when to start a round, states that a "committee decides that exceptional circumstances prevented you from starting on time" and, therefore, "under this provision, there is no breach of rule and no penalty."

Scheffler, 27, faces charges of second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic, ESPN reports. The two-time Masters champion was reportedly attempting to drive around the scene where a man was struck and killed by a shuttle bus on a median at around 5:00 a.m. local time.

Police instructed Scheffler to stop, however, he reportedly continued driving for about 10 to 20 yards toward the entrance. An officer reportedly detached himself to Scheffler's car at one point during the incident, according to Darlington.

Scheffler stopped his car as he turned into the entrance of Valhalla Golf Club and, after about 20 to 30 seconds, rolled down his window to speak to the officer.

The officer then reached inside the vehicle, grabbed Scheffler's arm and pulled him out of the car, at which point he was placed in handcuffs. Darlington said he was standing at the entrance of Valhalla at the time and was asked by Scheffler, "Can you help?" as he was being detained, at which point an officer instructed him to back away.

"You need to get out of the way," the officer told Darlington, according to the reporter. "There's nothing you can do. He's going to jail."

The unidentified man killed in the initial incident was attempting to cross Shelbyville Road outside Valhalla Golf Club when he was struck in a dedicated lane of buses and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police and first responders were still present at the scene at around 6:45 a.m. ET, at which point traffic was backed up on the roadway in dark and wet conditions as shuttle buses carrying fans to the course were stopped.

The second round of the PGA Championship was initially set to start at 7:15 a.m. and will be delayed until 8:35 a.m.

Scheffler is less than a month removed from winning his second Masters Tournament. Sports Illustrated's Bob Harig confirmed that Scheffler was expected to compete at the PGA Championship, the second major of the season, upon revealing the birth of his first child last Saturday (May 11).

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