Scheffler charged with police officer assault before US PGA round

Scottie Scheffler of the United States

World number one Scottie Scheffler has been charged with assaulting a police officer outside Valhalla Golf Club hours before his second round at the US PGA Championship.

Scheffler was released just in time to take to the course on Friday for his tee-off time of 10.08am (15:08 BST).

The Louisville Metropolitan Department of Corrections, who posted a mugshot of the 27-year-old, said he was booked in at 7.28am local time and released at 8.40am.

Speaking as he arrived at the course for his second round, Scheffler said the incident was a "big misunderstanding".

Scheffler was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer.

He is due to appear in court on Tuesday.

Scheffler's lawyer Steve Romines said "multiple eyewitnesses confirmed that he did not do anything wrong but was simply proceeding as directed".

Romines added: "He stopped immediately upon being directed to and never at any point assaulted any officer with his vehicle. We will litigate this matter as needed."

Play at the year's second major was delayed by 80 minutes on Friday because of an accident near the course.

Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) said a shuttle bus had struck and killed a pedestrian outside the golf club.

Scheffler, who was not involved in the accident, reportedly attempted to avoid the scene before being stopped.

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

"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.

"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. It truly puts everything in perspective."

Videos of the scene outside the course in Louisville, Kentucky, showed Scheffler handcuffed and being guided into the back of a police car.

Police later published a report into the incident which said the officer who attempted to prevent Scheffler from entering the course in his car was dragged to the ground and suffered "pain, swelling and abrasions" to his left wrist and knee.

The report said Detective Bryan Gillis was directing traffic near Gate 1 of Valhalla and was wearing a full police uniform and a "high-visibility yellow reflective rain jacket".

The report also said Gillis' uniform trousers were "damaged beyond repair" and that he was taken to a local hospital for medical evaluation.

Scheffler, who has won four of his last five events, carded a four-under-par 67 in the first round on Thursday after a remarkable start that saw him hole a 167-yard nine-iron for an eagle-two on the opening hole.

On Friday, he recorded a five-under round of 66 which put him two shots off the lead at the time.

He is chasing a third successive victory after winning the Masters and RBC Heritage in April before taking three weeks off for the birth of his first child.