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Scottie Scheffler Arrested


Courtesy of Getty Images


The call came at around six in the morning. Scottie Scheffler, the number one ranked golfer in the world, had been handcuffed outside of Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Scheffler had arrived at Valhalla around the same time as ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, who also found himself at the center of one of the strangest sports stories of the year. 


Tragedy had struck earlier in the morning when a bus struck and killed a PGA worker at around five in the morning. In response, the Louisville Police Department set up a barricade around the accident scene. Scheffler attempted to drive around the barricade, as other PGA players and team members had done earlier. Later reports suggested that the golfer had been waved on by other officers, before being stopped by the arresting officer. ESPN’s Darlington was only a few feet away when Scheffler was arrested and tried to intervene when Scheffler asked him for help. Darlington was also the first reporter to break the story. He recounted the incident in a series of posts on X, and later explained the event in greater detail on the network’s show, SportsCenter. 


“The police officer attempted to attach himself to Scheffler’s car, and Sheffler then stopped his vehicle at the entrance to Valhalla,” Darlington posted. “The police officer then began to scream at Scheffler to get out of the car. When Scheffler exited the vehicle, the officer shoved Scheffler against the car and immediately placed him in handcuffs.” Darlington elaborated more on air, continuing that Scheffler saw him, and said “Can you help?” Darlington then posted the video on his X account. The officer is seen in video telling Darlington to step back, adding “Right now he’s going to jail. He’s going to jail and there’s nothing you can do about it.” The officer did not recognize Scheffler. Darlington added that one officer immediately came up to him with a pad and paper, asking him to identify who they had just arrested. 


Scheffler’s original tee time before the incident was 8:48 A.M. After the morning's events, his tee time was postponed to 10:08 A.M. 


Courtesy of Jeff Darlington on X


Scheffler, coming off of his Masters win and the birth of his first child, has already had a big year. An arrest was certainly not on his agenda. The world’s top ranked golfer was charged with second-degree assault on a police officer, a felony, along with several lesser charges of third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding signals from officers directing traffic, according to Jefferson County court records. Scheffler was officially booked into the Louisville jail Friday morning at around 7:30 A.M. In a post-round conference, Scheffler recounted his unusual morning, noting that the officer had turned on ESPN’s Get Up!, which he watched from his holding cell. “I spent some time stretching in a jail cell…that was a first for me,” he remarked.


Courtesy of Louisville Police Department 


Scheffler was released at 8:40 Friday morning and was personally picked up and driven back to the course by Valhalla’s owner. He arrived at Valhalla Golf Club to rounds of roaring applause as he stepped out of the car. Scottie proceeded to warm up as normal as he could, with fans both cheering and making jabs at the golfer. “Tiger’s was better!” one fan shouted, referring to Tiger Woods’ mugshot. Another fan yelled, “You didn’t do anything wrong!” One spectator was even spotted sporting a bright orange prison jumpsuit, walking through the course. Scheffler teed off at exactly 10:08, the third to go in his group. His name was met with a standing ovation, with fans whistling and cheering for the beloved golfer. Scottie finished round two at about 3:30 on Friday afternoon, finishing with an impressive 66, which is five under par. 


So, as the dust settles, what happened? Honestly, we might never fully understand. The Louisville Metro Police Department stated that the arresting officer did not have his body camera activated during the incident. Despite the turmoil, Scheffler remains one of the most likable and non-controversial figures in golf. He has taken this incident in stride, shaking hands with people wearing t-shirts of his mugshot and joking with the press after the second round. While Scottie didn’t finish first, as predicated, who could blame him? He placed in the top-10 Sunday with a final score of thirteen under par. 


This tournament is likely to be one of the most interesting of the year. Merchandise was produced, sold out, and restocked. Spectators attended the rounds wearing outfits adorned with tongue-in-cheek sayings and images. Twitter, perhaps, enjoyed the event more than anyone. Tweets rang out with photoshops, joking accusations of Rory Mcllory orchestrating the arrest himself, and even calls to check the officer’s DraftKings account.

Scottie Scheffler has firmly established himself in the golf world, not only as the number one in world rankings but also as a member of the elite club of top golfers with mugshots. He now shares this dubious honor with the likes of John Daly and Tiger Woods. And honestly, in the golf world, there is no better company.


Courtesy of Getty Images


 

Edited by Hadlea Lindstrom

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