Scottie Scheffler booked into Kentucky jail before PGA Championship after incident

Scottie Scheffler ended Thursday within striking distance of the lead in hopes of winning the first PGA Championship of his career, but Friday got off to a rough start.

Scheffler was arrested and charged after he allegedly failed to follow police orders as he was about to enter Valhalla Golf Course in Louisville, Kentucky, for the second round of the tournament. 

Scottie Scheffler booking photo

Scottie Scheffler was booked into a Kentucky jail on May 17, 2024. (Louisville Department of Corrections)

He released a statement before he teed off in the second round.

“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,” he said. “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.”

He arrived back on the course at around 9:12 a.m. ET.

“All good,” he told Rickie Fowler as he made his way to the driving range.

ESPN reported that Scheffler drove past a police officer in his SUV with markings on the door indicating it was a PGA Championship vehicle. The officer screamed at him to stop and then attached himself to the car until Scheffler stopped his vehicle about 10 yards later. ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington characterized it as a “misunderstanding with traffic flow” as authorities were investigating a traffic fatality earlier in the morning.

“Scheffler was then walked over to the police car, placed in the back, in handcuffs, very stunned about what was happening, looked toward me as he was in those handcuffs and said, ‘Please help me,’” Darlington said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” “He very clearly did not know what was happening in the situation. It moved very quickly, very rapidly, very aggressively.”

Darlington posted a video of the incident on his X account.


Scheffler being led away in handcuffs

In this still image made from video provided by ESPN, Masters champion Scottie Scheffler is escorted by police after being handcuffed near Valhalla Golf Club, site of the PGA Championship golf tournament, early Friday, May 17, 2024. (ESPN via AP)

“Right now, he’s going to jail,” one officer at the scene told Darlington. “He’s going to jail and there ain’t nothing you can do about it.”

Scheffler was booked into the Louisville Department of Corrections later Friday. He was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer (a felony), criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from an officer directing traffic.

Scottie Scheffler back at Valhalla

Scottie Scheffler arrives for the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club after being taken into custody by the Louisville police department, Friday, May 17, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Scheffler was coming off of four victories in the last five tournaments, including a second Masters title. He was home in Dallas the last three weeks waiting for the birth of his first child, which occurred on May 8.

Xander Schauffele had the lead after the first round. He was 9-under par. Sahith Theegala, Tony Finau and Mark Hubbard were tied for second place at 6-under par.

Scottie Scheffler swings

Scottie Scheffler was a few strokes back of the lead in the first round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 16, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Scheffler, the No.1 golfer in the world, was tied for 12th at 4-under par.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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