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Scottie Scheffler says ‘stretching in a jail cell was a first’ after arrest at PGA Championship

Golf pro Scottie Scheffler says that “stretching in a jail cell was a first” for him, after being arrested the morning before returning to play in the PGA Championship.

The world number one said at a press conference that his head was “still spinning” from the day’s events and that he had “never imagined going to jail,” least of all before a tee time.

Scheffler was arrested on Friday morning in Valhalla, Kentucky, and charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic.

He had reportedly been trying to make his way to the Valhalla Golf Club for the event, unaware that an unrelated accident had taken place shortly before. A pedestrian had died and a large police presence was in attendance, with traffic backed up.

While entering the venue, Scheffler had been ordered to stop by an officer but attempted to continue, according to ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington, who witnessed the event. The police officer then “attached himself to the side of Scheffler’s car”.

Scheffler was arrested on Friday morning and hit with multiple charges following a ‘big misunderstanding’ outside the Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky (Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections)

Scheffler stopped the car, but was then pulled from the vehicle. Remarkable footage showed the 27-year-old being placed in handcuffs and led away, as he called out for help.

Despite the “chaotic situation” he was released and made his way to the course less than an hour before he was due to tee off, at the revised time of 10.08am. Scheffler told reporters at a press conference later on Friday that he was still unable to explain exactly what happened.

“I did spend some time stretching in a jail cell – that was a first for me,” he said.  “I was just sitting there waiting and, you know, I started going through my warm up. I felt like there was a chance I’m able to still come out here and play and so I started going through my routine.

“I tried to get my heart rate down as much as I could today, but like I said, I still feel like my head is spinning a little bit. But I was fortunate to be able to make it back out and play some golf.”

Remarkable footage showed the 27-year-old being placed in handcuffs and led away, as he called out for help (ESPN/AP)

Scheffler praised the law enforcement officials and said he had been treated kindly throughout the ordeal. One officer had jokingly offered him “the full [prison] experience” and given him a sandwich.

Scheffler also said he watched clips of his own arrest on the news while laying in the cell.

“I was shaking for like an hour,” he said. “It was definitely a new feeling for me and 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 when they figured out who I was and what happened and how I ended up there.”

Though he admitted to being “rattled” by the experience, Scheffler went on to deliver a incredible round on Friday, recording a four-under round of 67 to sit tied for 12th after round one, five shots behind leader Xander Schauffele.

He told reporters that the game had been a welcome distraction and something to focus on after being booked.

Despite the chaos, Scheffler went on to deliver a incredible round on Friday, recording a four-under round of 67 to sit tied for 12th after round one (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

“It was nice to be able to get inside the ropes and do what I love to do. I love competing out here on tour, I love playing in major championships and I’ve kept myself in the tournament now with a pretty chaotic day,” he said.

“So I’m going to go from here and focus on getting some rest and recovery and getting ready for the grind the last few days and we’ll see how the leaderboard shakes out.”

Scheffler also offered his condolences to the family of the pedestrian who had died in the incident.


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