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USA Today via Reuters

In the wake of two-time Masters champion Scottie Scheffler’s surprising arrest ahead of the PGA Championship, former MLB Network host and sports radio personality Chris “Mad Dog” Russo has unleashed a fiery defense of the golfer, questioning the police’s actions and emphasizing Scheffler’s upstanding character. Three days down the road, the entire incident seems a little too twisted to even believe, to say the least.

“You’re putting handcuffs on Scottie Scheffler? Everybody knows Scottie Scheffler is as nice a guy as has come down the pike,” Russo exclaims on his SiriusXM show, Mad Dog Unleashed.” Vehemently disagreeing with the Louisville police officer’s decision to arrest the world’s top-ranked golfer, he seems to think the entire thing was a misunderstanding that got riled up a notch, especially considering the tragic circumstances surrounding the incident.

Mad Dog recounts the events leading up to the arrest, emphasizing the chaotic scene caused by a fatal accident outside Valhalla Golf Club. His questioning how a “zealous police officer” can jump on Scheffler’s car, throw him out, and handcuff him for seemingly minor traffic violations makes one think about the truthfulness of most road rash incidents that get reported nowadays. I mean, this is Scheffler we are talking about. Come on!

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“This is not some guy that you just ran into at 4:00 in the morning going 90 miles an hour on some highway!” Russo exclaims, unsurprisingly so, further underscoring Scottie Scheffler’s reputation as a gentle and law-abiding citizen. He, like most other purveyors of the incident around the world, finds it quite hard to believe that Scheffler, known for his mild-mannered demeanor, could ever intentionally defy police orders or act aggressively against a man of law.

Mad Dog further questions the officer’s decision to arrest Scheffler, given the golfer’s imminent tee time at the PGA Championship. “This is Scottie Scheffler, who’s got a golf… he’s playing golf in 10 minutes! … And now he’s facing four criminal charges—does anybody think he’s gonna go to jail, and this is a felony? I mean, REALLY?”

Russo speculates that the arrest stemmed from a misunderstanding or miscommunication between the police officers on the scene, further suggesting that Scheffler may have innocently followed initial instructions but unknowingly violated new traffic patterns due to the unfortunate accident that took place earlier in the morning.

Pointing out Scheffler’s religious background, Russo implies that it further bolsters his belief in the golfer’s good character and intentions. “Nobody knows Scottie Scheffler that well; it is 6:00 in the morning, it’s raining, he’s sleepy, or who knows?” While acknowledging the possibility of Scheffler being flustered or irritated by the unavoidable conditions, Mad Dog chose to ultimately side with Scheffler’s version of events, rightfully stating, “I’m sorry, I’m going to believe Scottie Scheffler.” We get it, Chris. We do. But what’s more disheartening than the 2x Majors Champion being arrested is the incident that led up to this whole hullabaloo. 

The fatal accident and chaotic morning that set the stage for Scottie Scheffler’s arrest

The incident that led to Scheffler’s arrest occurred early Friday morning when a fatal accident took place between a bus and a pedestrian, causing a casualty for the latter, outside Valhalla Golf Club, leading up to the traffic being stopped. The golfer attempted to drive around the crash scene on a median, but he was reportedly instructed to stop by a police officer. So he continued driving, apparently prompting the officer to attach himself to the side of his car. Scheffler eventually stopped and was placed in handcuffs after a brief exchange with the officer.

The officer, identified as Detective Bryan Gillis, claimed that Scottie Scheffler “refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging (him) to the ground.” Scheffler, however, maintained that he was “proceeding as directed by police officers” and that there was a “big misunderstanding” between the exchange of words that seemed to have gotten lost in translation.

Scheffler was then served with four charges—a second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic. Despite the ordeal, he was released without bail and managed to arrive at the Valhalla Golf Club less than an hour before his scheduled tee time.

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Remarkably, Scheffler went on to shoot a 66 in the second round of the PGA Championship, showcasing his resilience and focus despite the concurrent stressful circumstances. In his post-round press conference, he gracefully addressed the incident, emphasizing his sympathy for the victim of the fatal accident and expressing his respect for the police officers involved.

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Scottie Scheffler’s performance in the tournament was a testament to his mental fortitude, further emphasizing his ability to compartmentalize distractions. Despite the arrest and the subsequent media attention, he chose to remain focused on his game and finished the tournament with a commendable 13-under par.

As the dust settles on this bizarre incident, Scheffler’s reputation remains largely untarnished. His arrest serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of life and the importance of perspective. Despite the initial charges, it appears that Scheffler’s legal troubles may soon be behind him, as market reports suggest that prosecutors are considering dropping the charges now.