Still exhausted after arrest, Scheffler closes with 64 at PGA

golf19 May 2024 21:50| © AFP
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Scottie Scheffler © Gallo Images

Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler closed an exhausting week that included a shock arrest on Friday by firing a six-under par 65 for a solid finish in Sunday's closing round of the PGA Championship.

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A day after shooting 73 at Valhalla for his first over-par round of the year, the 27-year-old American opened with a bogey but made seven birdies over the last 14 holes to finish on 13-under 271.

"Obviously the results weren't what I was hoping for at the beginning of the week, but overall I'm proud of how I fought this week," Scheffler said.

He said he was still feeling weary from being jailed and booked before round two.

"I put my head down on the scorer's table and I think I about fell asleep," he said. "I'm fairly tired, definitely a lot more tired than I've been finishing some other tournaments.

"Yesterday obviously was quite frustrating and a bit of a different day, but... was fortunate to be out here competing."

Scheffler was arrested Friday morning at the entrance to Valhalla after trying to go around a traffic jam while police were investigating an earlier fatal accident.

Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) officers handcuffed Scheffler before arresting him on charges of felony assault of a police officer, criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from an officer directing traffic.


"We'll be pleading not guilty," Scheffler attorney Steve Romines said.

He was taken to jail, booked, had a mugshot taken that quickly appeared on fan T-shirts at the course, then was released in time to tee off in the second round and shoot 66.

"I got arrested Friday morning and I showed up here and played a good round of golf," Scheffler said, refusing to blame his bad round on the arrest and its aftermath.

"I'm not going to sit here and say that I played poorly yesterday because of what happened on Friday," he said.

"Did I feel like myself? Absolutely not. Was my warm-up the way it usually is and the distractions what they normally are? Absolutely not. But I'm not going to sit here and say that's why I went out and played a bad round of golf."

Scheffler could face between five and 10 years in prison on the felony charge alone.

Scheffler said the implications of his arrest hit him the next day.

"Saturday morning. I think it finally hit me what really happened," he said. "I did my best to leave that behind me and come out here and compete."

Police say Scheffler's vehicle accelerated and dragged police officer Bryan Gillis so severely that he had left knee and wrist injuries and was treated and released at a local hospital.

Romines said Scheffler "stopped immediately upon being directed to and never at any point assaulted any officer with his vehicle."

Scheffler arrived in Louisville on a high, having won four of his past five starts, including the Masters last month. Last week he and his wife, Meredith, welcomed the birth of their first child, a son named Bennett.

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said there was no bodycam video from the arrest but police had footage from a fixed camera across the street from the entrance and it would be released in coming days.

"The officer did not have bodycam footage turned on during the incident," Greenberg said. "The case is in the hands of our county attorney and I'll let the legal matters play out."


A reporter for golf website No Laying Up posted on Sunday on X that a source familiar with the thinking of the Jefferson County prosecutor's office told him the prosecutors were planning to drop the charges against Scheffler early next week.

Scheffler is scheduled for an arraignment on Tuesday but was uncertain he would appear.

"It's all up in the air. I'm not really sure what the next days have in store," he said. "I think I'm able to get home. I haven't really had much chance to assess the situation off the course."

Romines told The Golf Channel that charges against Scheffler "will either be dropped or we will go to trial because Scottie didn't do anything wrong.

"We're not interested in any sort of settlement negotiations or anything like that. It was just a big miscommunication."