News, PGA Championship, Scottie Scheffler, Sports, Television

Top Golfer Scottie Scheffler Tees Off After Arrest, Calls Incident With Police “A Big Misunderstanding”

UPDATE, with Scheffler statement: Scottie Scheffler, the world’s No. 1 golfer, arrived at Louisville’s Valhalla Golf Club following his arrest and detainment this morning, reportedly making his tee walk to chants from onlookers of “Scottie! Scottie! Scottie!” and “Free Scottie!”

Scheffler was arrested, briefly detained and charged with four criminal counts in Louisville earlier today just hours before he teed off in the second round of the PGA Championship.

In an incident with police officers at a traffic stoppage outside Louisville’s Valhalla Golf Club, Scheffler apparently was ordered to stop his vehicle and attempted to keep driving. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, who was on the scene, reported that Scheffler continued driving another 10-20 yards, and after finally stopping was ordered to exit his vehicle.

Local reports say Scheffler was pulled from the vehicle by officers. Once he exited the vehicle, Scheffler was put in handcuffs and led away by the two police officers. He was booked into the Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections at 7:28 a.m. ET and charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic.

Prior to the incident, traffic had been stopped outside the golf course due to a vehicle crash that killed a pedestrian around 5 a.m. ET.

In a statement to the press, the golfer said, “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. 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 had been due to tee off just before 9 a.m., but because of the pedestrian death all tee times were delayed by more than an hour. He returned to the golf course after his release, and teed off shortly after 10 a.m. to defend his Masters championship.

Attorneys for Scheffler told reporters that the incident with police was the result of a miscommunication, and that Scheffler, fully credentialed to enter the golf club, had merely intended to drive past the police vehicles at the site of the accident.

The PGA of America released the following statement regarding the pedestrian death: “This morning we were devastated to learn that a worker with one of our vendors was tragically struck and killed by a shuttle bus outside Valhalla Golf Club. This is heartbreaking to all of us involved with the PGA Championship. We extend our sincere condolences to their family and loved ones.”

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