World’s top golfer Scottie Scheffler arrested on charges of assaulting officer at PGA event

Scottie Scheffler, the top golfer in the world, was arrested Friday and charged with felony assault on a police officer and reckless driving outside of a PGA championship event in Louisville, Kentucky.

Scheffler, 27, was detained after he was seen driving on a median toward the entrance to Valhalla Golf Club, the site of the event, and initially failing to heed an officer’s order for him to stop, according to an ESPN reporter who witnessed the incident.

At the time, traffic outside the entrance was being rerouted after a man was hit and killed by a shuttle bus earlier that day.

Shortly before his scheduled tee-off time Friday morning, Scheffler in a statement described the incident as the result of a “big misunderstanding.”

Mugshot of PGA Golfer Scott Alexander Scheffler, arrested for assault on police after trying to enter PGA Championship venue.

Source: Louisville Metro Police Department

“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,” Scheffler said in a post on his official Instagram account.

“There was a big misunderstanding of what I thought I was being asked to do,” he said. “I never intended to disregard any of the instructions. I’m hopeful to put this to the side and focus on golf today.”

The Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections website showed that Scheffler was booked at 7:28 a.m. ET.

The booking information initially showed charges of second-degree assault on a police officer — a felony — as well as third-degree misdemeanor criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from an officer directing traffic.

Scheffler was released from the Louisville facility without bail shortly before 9 a.m. ET, according to local NBC affiliate WAVE.

Scottie Scheffler arrives to the course during the second round of PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on May 17, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Ben Jared | PGA Tour | Getty Images

“We’ll just let it all play out, that’s the extent of what we know. It’s moving pretty fast at this time, but we’ll litigate the case as it comes,” Scheffler’s lawyer, Steve Romines, told reporters after the golfer’s release.

Scheffler teed off just after 10:08 a.m. ET from the 10th hole for the second day of the championship. He arrived at Valhalla around 9:10 a.m. ET, giving him less than an hour to prepare.

Asked for comment, both the PGA Tour and PGA of America referred CNBC to Scheffler’s statement.

The ESPN reporter, Jeff Darlington, said Friday morning that he saw Scheffler “detained by police officers, placed in the back of a police vehicle in handcuffs after he tried to pull around what he believed to be security.”

“When he didn’t stop the police officer attached himself to the vehicle, Scheffler then traveled another 10 yards before stopping the car,” Darlington said on ESPN’s “Sports Center.”

“The police officer then grabbed at his arm attempting to pull him out of the car before Scheffler eventually opened the door at which point the police officer pulled Scheffler out of the car pushed him up against the car and immediately placed him in handcuffs,” Darlington said.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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