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Scottie Scheffler: World No.1 golfer leaves PGA Championships in handcuffs after police confrontation

Headshot of Jake Santa Maria
Jake Santa Maria
The Nightly
3 Min Read
The world No.1 golfer was handcuffed by police after a traffic incident.

Golf’s world No.1 Scottie Scheffler has been arrested on his way to the PGA Championship, with stunning images showing him handcuffed as he was led to a police car.

In vision captured by ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington, Scheffler is seen being escorted by police in handcuffs near the entrance of the Valhalla Golf Club.

According to Darlington, Scheffler was attempting to enter the course ahead of his second-round tee time when he failed to stop at the behest of police.

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In vision captured by ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington, Scheffler is seen being escorted by police in handcuffs near the entrance of the Valhalla Golf Club.
In vision captured by ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington, Scheffler is seen being escorted by police in handcuffs near the entrance of the Valhalla Golf Club. Credit: Jeff Darlington/X/supplied

Traffic was backed up for more than a kilometre in both directions on the only road that leads to Valhalla Golf Club, with dozens of police cars flashing red-and-blue lights near the entrance.

Police said a pedestrian had been struck by a bus while crossing the road in a lane that was dedicated to tournament traffic.

Speaking on ESPN Darlington said the situation moved “very quickly, very rapidly, very aggressively” and reported Scheffler told Darlington “please help me,” as he was being taken away.

“At 6am this morning Scheffler tried to enter the gates of Valhalla by trying to take a median into the golf club against the instruction of a police officer,” he said.

“He was apprehended by a police officer and taken into the back of a squad car and has now been booked into jail with the following charges, second degree assault of police officer, Third degree criminal mischief, Reckless driving and Disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic.

“Scottie asked for help and I approached the officer identifying myself as a member of the media and he responded ‘there’s nothing you can do,’ he’s going to jail.’”

However in another twist ESPN reported Scheffler was released without bail and is set to be on his way back to make the course in time for his 10:08pm (AWST) tee-time.

Scheffler was tied for 12th after the first round at Valhalla after a four-under 67.

The world No 1 was due to tee off for his second round at 8:48am local time (8.48pm WST/10.48pm EST) alongside Wyndham Clark and Brian Harman.

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - MAY 16: Scottie Scheffler of the United States plays his shot from the 17th tee during the first round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 16, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Scottie Scheffler playing in the first round of the PGA Championship. Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The incident occurred as the second round of the PGA Championship was delayed Friday due to a fatal accident near the club.

A pedestrian was reportedly hit and killed by a shuttle bus outside the golf course in a separate incident to Scheffler’s arrest.

It is claimed the star golfer was confused by the traffic cordon set-up.

Scheffler reportedly drove past an officer, who screamed at him to stop and then attached himself to the car until Scheffler stopped a short distance later. Scheffler was in an SUV with markings on the door indicating it was a PGA Championship vehicle.

The PGA of America did not immediately have a comment.

The start of the tournament’s second round was delayed by 80 minutes, meaning Scheffler was not due to play until soon after 10am local time.

With cars backed up in the morning darkness, other PGA-marked vehicles tried to move slowly toward the entrance. Traffic finally began to move slowly a little before 7am.

It was a surreal start to Friday after what already has been a wild week of weather, with the image of the Masters champion and top-ranked in the world, dressed in workout clothes, with his hands in cuffs behind his back amid flashing flights.

Scheffler reportedly drove past an officer, who screamed at him to stop and then attached himself to the car until Scheffler stopped a short distance later. Scheffler was in an SUV with markings on the door indicating it was a PGA Championship vehicle.
Scheffler reportedly drove past an officer, who screamed at him to stop and then attached himself to the car until Scheffler stopped a short distance later. Scheffler was in an SUV with markings on the door indicating it was a PGA Championship vehicle. Credit: Jeff Darlington/X/supplied

Darlington said police appeared to be not sure who Scheffler was, with one police officer asking him if he knew the name of the person they put in handcuffs.

Scheffler is coming off four victories in his past five tournaments, including his second Masters title.

He has been home in Dallas for the past three weeks, awaiting the birth of his first child, a son born on May 8.

Scheffler, five shots off the PGA Championship lead, was trying to become only the fifth player since 1960 to win the first two majors of the year.

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