Scottie Scheffler Admits to Fear During Arrest Before PGA Championship

Golfer Scottie Scheffler recounts his shocking pre-championship arrest

by Zain ul Abedin
Scottie Scheffler Admits to Fear During Arrest Before PGA Championship
© Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Scottie Scheffler, the world’s top-ranked golfer, is speaking out about his arrest on Friday, May 17, and the intense emotions he experienced during the ordeal. Scheffler, 27, was taken into custody by Louisville Metro Police after attempting to bypass a traffic stop to enter Valhalla Golf Club.

He now faces a felony charge of second-degree assault of a police officer, along with three misdemeanors: third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding traffic signals. During a press conference following the second round of the PGA Championship, Scheffler recalled, "I was never angry.

I was just in shock, and I think my body was just — I was shaking the whole time." Despite the arrest, Scheffler managed to claim the leaderboard. Scheffler detailed how the arrest unfolded around 5:45 a.m., just 45 minutes after vendor John Mills was fatally struck by a shuttle bus while crossing the street.

ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington, who was present, reported that Scheffler tried to navigate around the crash via the median, ignoring an officer's instructions to stop. This led to his handcuffing and subsequent arrest. Major Jason Logsdon of the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections confirmed that Scheffler was released without bail at 8:40 a.m.

Lawyer Disputes Claims

A police report, as cited by CNN, stated, “Subject refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging Detective Gillis to the ground”. However, Scheffler’s attorney, Steven Romines, told ESPN that the incident was a "miscommunication," emphasizing that the officer who stopped Scheffler was not part of the regular event-traffic detail.

Romines clarified that Scheffler followed instructions given to him to proceed. Scheffler addressed the media and expressed his sympathies to the Mills family. He described the situation as "chaotic" and a "big misunderstanding." He admitted to spending time in a jail cell, where he began his warm-up routine, trying to calm himself in hopes of still competing.

"I did spend some time stretching in a jail cell. That was a first for me," he said. Reflecting on his experience, Scheffler said, "I was pretty rattled, to say the least. My body was shaking. I would say in shock and in fear." He appreciated the officers' kindness, noting they offered him a sandwich.

He emphasized his efforts to remain calm and follow instructions, denying any attempts to use his name to defuse the situation. Scheffler concluded by expressing his condolences again and stating his determination to move forward. The PGA Championship is set to conclude on Sunday, May 19.