Golf-Scheffler puts arrest behind him to stay in PGA contention


  • Golf
  • Friday, 17 May 2024

May 16, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Scottie Scheffler lines up a putt on the 12th green during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) -Scottie Scheffler never considered not playing in the PGA Championship second round after his early-morning arrest on Friday and spent time stretching in his jail cell before competing at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

The world's top-ranked golfer was left in shock and shaking for an hour after being handcuffed and put in a police car due to what he said was a misunderstanding regarding traffic flow following a fatal accident outside Valhalla.

Scheffler, although rattled by the incident, never lost his focus and took time while locked up to get in some stretching.

"That was a first for me," Scheffler told reporters. "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."

Scheffler, known for his unflappable temperament, said the officer who took him to jail, where he was pictured in an orange jumpsuit for his mug shot, was kind and credited the talk they had in the car for helping him to calm him down.

While in jail, Scheffler said he could see images of himself from the morning incident on a nearby TV, and did all he could to get his heart rate down.

"My main focus after getting arrested was wondering if I could be able to come back out here and play, and fortunately I was able to do that," said Scheffler. "It was nice to put together a solid round today for sure."

According to the police report, Scheffler was heading eastbound to gain access to the course in Louisville, Kentucky and pulled into the westbound lanes, where outbound traffic was flowing, to avoid backed-up vehicles.

The report said the officer stopped Scheffler, who was in a marked player-courtesy vehicle, but that the golfer refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging the officer to the ground.

"It was just a huge misunderstanding this morning. That'll get resolved I think fairly quickly," said Scheffler.

"I came here for a golf tournament. I was driving in this morning, trying to get to my warmup time and get ready for the round of golf. I didn't really have an understanding of what had transpired this morning."

FULL CO-OPERATION

Louisville police, who are investigating the incident and said all involved parties were fully co-operating, added that the officer was taken to hospital after suffering pain, swelling and abrasions to his left wrist and knee.

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.

After arriving at Valhalla under steady rain, Scheffler was greeted by plenty of encouragement from fans and headed straight to the driving range before getting down to business on the course.

Scheffler, whose wife gave birth to their first child last week, is seeking his fifth win in six starts and second consecutive major title. He mixed six birdies with a bogey in a five-under-par 66.

"It took a few holes to settle in," Scheffler said. "It was kind of nice just to be out there inside the ropes competing. It's one of my favorite things in the world to do, so I was fortunate to be able to come out here and do it again today."

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis and Ed Osmond)

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