Skip to main content


Scheffler arrested, makes tee time for second round at PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler Scottie Scheffler - The Canadian Press

In one on of the more bizarre starts to a major championship round, a vendor was killed Friday morning after being struck by a bus outside the gates of the Valhalla Golf Club, the site of this week’s PGA Championship, and Scottie Scheffler, the world’s No.-1 ranked player, was detained in handcuffs by Louisville Metro Police  and charged on four different counts.

The vendor was attempting to cross Shelbyville Rd., the main thoroughfare to the course’s entrance, at around 5 a.m. when he was struck by a bus. Police closed the road for a period, which led to a significant traffic snarl for those trying to get to the tournament.

At approximately 5:45 a.m., Scheffler was one of those looking to find a way into the course for his 8:25 a.m. starting time. According to reports, he skirted around the stopped traffic, was stopped by a police officer, removed from the car and handcuffed, and then taken to a local police station.

The golfer was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, reckless driving, criminal mischief, and disregarding signals from officer directing traffic. The assault charge is a felony.

There are conflicting reports as to the specifics of what happened during the incident.

The police report said that the arresting officer, Bryan Gillis, a 17-year veteran of the Louisville Police Department, “stopped subject [Scheffler] and attempted to give instructions. Subject refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging Detective Gillis to the ground. Detective Gillis suffered pain, swelling, and abrasions to his left wrist and knee. He was transported to the hospital for further medical treatment by emergency medical personnel.”

Scheffler’s lawyer, Steve Romines, released a statement that said the golfer was never intending to disobey any police direction.

“In the early hours of the morning in advance of his tee time Scottie was going to the course to begin his pre round preparation. Due to the combination of event traffic and a traffic fatality in the area it was a very chaotic situation. He was proceeding as directed by another traffic officer and driving a marked player’s vehicle with credentials visible.

“In the confusion, Scottie is alleged to have disregarded a different officer’s traffic signals resulting in these charges. Multiple eyewitnesses have confirmed that he did not do anything wrong but was simply proceeding as directed. He stopped immediately upon being directed to and never at any point assaulted any officer with his vehicle. We will litigate this matter as needed and he will be completely exonerated.”

Scheffler was booked on the charges and had a mug shot taken. His arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday at 9 a.m. After the formalities, he was released and one of the owners of Valhalla, Jimmy Kirchdorfer, drove him to the course.

The accident delayed tee times by 80 minutes and Scheffler made it to the course in time to warm up and tee off at his 10:08 a.m. starting time.

Golfers going around traffic or using shoulders is not uncommon at tournaments. In many cases, tournament officials and police work together to provide an access lane exclusively for the players or find a way for them to get around snarls. This situation was different in that the fatality caused a backup for which no one had prepared.

ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington was in a car near Scheffler’s, waiting to get into the course. After his booking, Scheffler issued a statement to Darlington about the situation.

“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, who won the Masters in April, was tied for seventh at the start of the second round of the PGA Championship.