Scottie Scheffler's Arrest Before the 2024 PGA Championship Was Below Par

Scottie Scheffler is the No. 1 golfer in the world, and now, he’s a recent Louisville, Ky. inmate. But why was Scottie arrested?

Jamie Lerner - Author

May 17 2024, Published 9:59 a.m. ET

The fanfare and trumpets are always in full swing when it’s time for golf season. The PGA Championship tournament is one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world and often decides who is considered the world’s best golfer. Currently, Scottie Scheffler holds the title after winning the 2022 and 2024 Masters Tournaments.

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But on May 17, 2024, Scottie’s reputation as a squeaky clean golfer was marred when a confusing traffic stop, which turned into an arrest. Scottie was on his way to the second round of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. when a prior unrelated incident led to a police zone of interest blocking Scottie’s route. But what happened and was he actually arrested?

Scottie Scheffler at the 2024 PGA Championship
Source: Getty Images
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Scottie Scheffler was arrested just before the second round of the PGA Championship.

In the early morning hours of May 17, 2024, a shuttle bus struck and killed a pedestrian outside Valhalla Golf Club on Shelbyville Road around 5 a.m. Police and first responders were immediately on site and said that the unidentified man had died at the scene. This had nothing to do with Scottie … until Scottie was on his way to the club to warm up.

As Scottie was driving the regular route to the club, he assumed the police presence was actually security guards, so he held up his accreditation and attempted to drive past. However, as the police instructed him not to continue forward, an officer “attached himself” to Scottie’s car to stop him. Scottie stopped and the officer grabbed Scottie’s arm, pulled him out of his car, and pushed him up against the car and handcuffed him, according to ESPN’s reporting.

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ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington was on the scene and shared that the incident “moved very quickly, very rapidly, [and] very aggressively.” After Scottie was handcuffed, the police officer detained him in the back of the vehicle as Scottie asked Jeff, “Can you help?” Jeff shared, “[Scottie] very clearly did not know what was happening in the situation.”

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The officer told Jeff, “You need to get out of the way. Right now he’s going to jail, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Scottie was then detained for about 20 minutes before he was booked with the Louisville police department at 7:28 a.m., according to their records. He was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, which is a felony, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic.

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Scottie was released in time to compete in the PGA and charges will hopefully be dropped.

Based on Jeff’s account of the events, it seemed like Scottie’s behavior towards the officer was just a big misunderstanding that escalated incredibly quickly. His tee time is set for 10:08 a.m. and all signs are looking good according to various reporters on the scene. Sky Sports Kira K. Dixon reported that he “popped his head into player dining and said ‘hello I’m here’ and continued on,” and that his “spirits are fine.”

Scottie’s lawyer, Steve Romines, spoke with lawyers and claimed Scottie was “unaware” of traffic changes and that the officer directing traffic was “not part of event traffic detail,” which led to confusion and miscommunication. “We’ll just litigate the case as it comes, Scottie will cooperate fully, and we’ll just deal with it as it progresses,” he shared.

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“He’s been released,” Steve added, without giving much further information. Another golfer, Ian Poulter, chimed in shortly after details were released with his own version of what likely happened.

“We as players at multiple tournaments every year are told during traffic around the venue to put Hazard lights on and proceed to the venue. This is as simple as a misunderstanding. And clearly all will be dropped. The End. Hope he goes and plays well now today,” Ian tweeted.

So do we! It all seems like a miscommunication that will hopefully be dropped, although if the officers were aggressive with Scottie in any way, we also hope that they are held accountable for their actions as well.

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