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via Reuters

What is happening? Scottie Scheffler would have never imagined that on his way to prepare for the second round of the PGA Championship, he would end up in jail! The 27-year-old was just outside the gates of Valhalla Golf Course when he was detained by the police. The situation quickly escalated, resulting in the golfer’s arrest. Fortunately, Scheffler was soon released and was able to tee off at the second round of the PGA Championship.

It was indeed quite a turbulent morning for the two-time major champion. During the post-round interview, Scheffler had the time to process the whole incident. The 27-year-old right off the bat stated, “I was pretty rattled, to say the least. The officer that took me to the jail was very kind. He was great. We had a nice chat in the car, that kind of helped calm me down. I was sitting there waiting to kind of go in and I asked him, I was like, Hey, excuse me, can you just come hang out with me for a few minutes so I can calm down. I was never angry.”

“I was just in shock, and I think my body was just — I was shaking the whole time. I was shaking for like an hour. It was definitely a new feeling for me. He came out, and we had a nice chat and then the officers inside the jail were tremendous. A couple of them made some jokes I think when they figured out who I was and what happened and how I ended up there.”

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Amid all this chaos, an officer posed a question, which left the world no. 1 in a pretty awkward situation. The reigning Masters champion said in the post-round press conference, “This one older officer looked at me as I was doing my fingerprints or whatever, and he looks at me and he goes, So do you want the full experience today?” Scheffler replied, “I kind of looked at him, and I was like, I don’t know how to answer that. He’s like, Come on, man, you want a sandwich? I was like, ‘Sure, I’ll take a sandwich. I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet.'”  

But what caused all this? The traffic around the golf course was due to a fatal accident that took place near it in the early hours of the morning, which resulted in the demise of an individual named John Mills. Scheffler was unaware of this and tried to avoid the traffic. That’s when he was asked to stop his car by a police official. Amidst the tense atmosphere and further misunderstanding, a chaotic conversation ensued between the golfer and the cop.

Jeff Darlington, a reporter for ESPN, witnessed the whole incident and later recalled, “The officer grabbed Scheffler’s arm to pull him out of the vehicle, according to Darlington. The officer reached inside the vehicle to open the door, and once Scheffler was pulled out, he was pushed against the car and placed in handcuffs.”

Back at the Valhalla greens, the second round was delayed by 80 minutes due to the accident that took place. The tee time was shifted to 10:08 a.m. ET. Even after facing such a tumultuous incident, the PGA Tour Pro did not let it affect his on-course performance. In true World No. 1 fashion, Scheffler carded a usual 5-under 66, gaining four strokes from tee to green compared to the field. The round eventually got suspended and currently Scheffler sits in the T4 position alongside Bryson DeChambeau, Thomas Detry, and Mark Hubbard.

Considering the grave nature of the charges labeled against him, it was a serious incident. The police report claims Scheffler pulled away his car, ignoring the police officer’s direction. An officer mentioned named Det. Bryan Gillis was allegedly dragged to the ground and sustained injuries on their left wrist, the police report stated.

Scheffler didn’t delve into the tidbits of the day, but offered some snippets from the chaotic morning. And the incident stands out amid a rather bleak Friday at Valhalla. Notably, Scheffler refused to trade barbs and maintained transparency throughout the presser, where every question was in one way or another linked to the arrest.

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The two-time Masters champion added in the media interaction, “I mean, they (police officers) were really kind. I’m grateful that we have such strong police, and they’re our protectors out there, and like I said, we just got into a chaotic situation this morning. That’s really all it was.” Scheffler wants to put all that behind. He has hired Steven Romines as his attorney, who is handling the charges. So far, the attorney has denied all accounts.

How Scottie Scheffler is keeping his head down and chin up

The simple ‘that’s really all it was’ concealed much behind it. He didn’t just tell the press in a prepared speech while teething with frustration to answer the humiliation. It’s what he tells himself too. A theatre of the absurd, where he was the unlikely victim for a few hours. The 27-year-old is back into his daily routine. Grind on the practice greens. Hit the gym. Go home. Take rest.

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That’s all it really is for Scottie Scheffler. The 10-time PGA Tour winner, whose worst performance in the last five starts has been a T2 at the Valero Texas Houston Open, didn’t think of voluntarily going back home. At Valhalla, a section of fans have sported Scheffler’s mugshot etched on their t-shirts. “To be honest with you, it was great having the fans behind me. They cheered for me really loud,” the 27-year-old added. Scheffler has compartmentalized his mind from outside noise. And that’s the strategy he has adopted for the weekend as well.

But coming to his attorney, Romines has stated that the golfer hasn’t done anything wrong. “There was never at any time, did the officer stop him, he disregard, accelerate, any of those things… He followed another traffic control officer’s directions as to how to proceed and that’s what he did.” Scottie Scheffler’s arraignment court date is on May 21 at 9 a.m.

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