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Golfer Scottie Scheffler arrested heading to PGA Championship's 2nd round

He faces charges of second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic.

Scottie Scheffler hits a tee shot from the second tee during the first round of the 2024 PGA Championship on Thursday at Valhalla Golf Club on Thursday in Louisville, Ky. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI
1 of 5 | Scottie Scheffler hits a tee shot from the second tee during the first round of the 2024 PGA Championship on Thursday at Valhalla Golf Club on Thursday in Louisville, Ky. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

May 17 (UPI) -- Police arrested Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1 golfer in the world, as he made his way to Valhalla Golf Club for the second round of the 2024 PGA Championship on Friday in Louisville, Ky., authorities said.

Scheffler was booked at 7:28 a.m. EDT and released at 8:40 a.m., according to the Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections. The PGA Championship favorite then reported to Valhalla on time for his 10:08 a.m. tee time.

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He faces a second-degree felony charge of assault of a police officer, in addition to misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic. An arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday in Louisville, according to court records.

Scheffler said that the incident was a result of "a big misunderstanding" he had with officers, who were directing traffic after a fatal crash occurred in the area, at the same time he was heading to the course to start his second round. He birdied his first hole.

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Scheffler's attorney, Steve Romines, said the golfer attempted to use his credential to get into the course, unaware that police changed traffic patterns because of the crash. Scheffler said he "never intended to disregard" police instructions.

"This morning, I was proceeding as directed by police officers," Scheffler said in a statement. "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."

Romines said Scheffler intends to cooperate with police during an investigation into the matter.

World No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler poses for a mugshot after being arrested Friday, and booked into the Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections in Louisville, Ky. Photo courtesy of the Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections

Video posted Friday morning by ESPN showed Scheffler being handcuffed by officers and taken into custody. The outlet reported that Scheffler attempted to drive around the scene of the crash before officers instructed him to stop.

That report also stated that an officer "attached himself to the side" of Scheffler's car during the sequence, before the golfer stopped, was pulled out of the vehicle, pushed against it and placed in handcuffs.

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The Louisville Metro Police did not immediately respond to requests for information about the arrest.

The PGA Championship announced that the second round, set to tee off at 7:15 a.m. EDT, would be delayed until 8:35 a.m., citing the fatal accident that occurred near the course.

The Louisville Metro Police Department said in a statement that a man died in the collision, which occurred on Shelbyville Road, which runs alongside Valhalla.

"About 5 a.m. this morning, the LMPD responded to a call of a vehicle collision involving a pedestrian and a bus," the police said in a statement.

"Our preliminary investigation found that an adult male pedestrian was crossing Shelbyville Road south to north when he was struck by a shuttle bus that was traveling eastbound in the compulsory center lane dedicated for buses.

"As a result, the pedestrian received fatal injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene. The LMPD traffic unit is investigating."

The PGA of America said that the man who died was a worker for one of the tournament vendors.

"This morning we were devastated to learn that a worker with one of our vendors was tragically struck and killed by a shuttle bus outside Valhalla Golf Club," the PGA of America said.

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"This is heartbreaking to all of us involved with the PGA Championship. We extend our sincere condolences to their family and loved ones."

Scheffler, who welcomed his first child with wife Meredith on May 8, entered the PGA Championship as a heavy favorite. He carded a 4-under 67 and was tied for 12th place, five shots behind leader Xander Schauffele, through his first 18 holes.

"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," Scheffler said. "It truly puts everything in perspective."

Xander Schauffele wins 2024 PGA Championship

Xander Schauffele holds up the championship trophy after winning the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Course in Louisville, Ky., on May 19, 2024. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

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