Why Scottie Scheffler was detained by police before day 2 of the PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler speaks to the media after the final round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament was weather delayed, Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Scottie Scheffler speaks to the media after the final round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament was weather delayed, Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Hilton Head Island, S.C. | Chris Carlson

Scottie Scheffler was detained by police Friday morning in Louisville, hours before he was meant to tee off for round two of the PGA Championship.

ESPN’s Jeff Darlington witnessed the scene between police officers and the world No. 1 golfer, reporting that Scheffler was put into handcuffs after a “misunderstanding with traffic flow.”

“World No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler has been detained by police in handcuffs after a misunderstanding with traffic flow led to his attempt to drive past a police officer into Valhalla Golf Club. The police officer attempted to attach himself to Scheffler’s car, and Scheffler then stopped his vehicle at the entrance to Valhalla. The police officer then began to scream at Scheffler to get out of the car. When Scheffler exited the vehicle, the officer shoved Scheffler against the car and immediately placed him in handcuffs. He is now being detained in the back of a police car,” Darlington reported on X, the site formerly called Twitter.

Darlington also shared video, from the scene, which showed Scheffler being escorted away from his car in handcuffs.

Soon after Darlington posted on X, he appeared on ESPN’s “Sportscenter” to offer more details.

He claimed the situation moved “very quickly, very rapidly, very aggressively” and that Scheffler had asked him for help, per Kyle Porter of CBS.

“(Darlington) just said on SportsCenter that a police officer, who thought Darlington was with Scheffler as perhaps a manager or agent, said to him as he approached the situation, ‘There’s nothing you can do, he’s going to jail,’” Porter wrote on X.

Scheffler had been headed into Louisville’s Valhalla Golf Club to prepare for day two of the PGA Championship.

He’s currently tied for 12th in the tournament at four under par, which is five back from the lead.

The start of round two of the PGA Championship was delayed because of a fatal traffic accident near the course, according to

“According to the Louisville Metro Police Department, a man was fatally struck by a shuttle bus outside Valhalla Golf Club around 5 a.m. ET on Friday,” the article said.

The accident — and a related change in traffic patterns around the course — led to Scheffler’s encounter with police.

Once he was released from police custody, Scheffler issued a statement on the situation to Darlington.

“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, 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,” he said.

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

“The assault charge is a felony; the others are misdemeanors,” per ESPN.

Scheffler was released from custody Friday morning and made it to Valhalla Golf Club in time to tee off as planned.

He shot five-under-par in the second round and remained near the top of the leader board by the end of the day.