Top-ranked golfer Scottie Scheffler detained by police at PGA Championship

The world number one was handcuffed by police near to the PGA venue for not following orders after a traffic death.

Screenshot of man detained by police.
Masters champion Scottie Scheffler is escorted by police after being handcuffed near Valhalla Golf Club, site of the PGA Championship, early Friday, May 17, 2024 [Screengrab: ESPN via AP]

Masters champion Scottie Scheffler was detained by police on his way to the PGA Championship, with stunning images showing him handcuffed as he was led to a police car. ESPN reported he failed to follow police orders during a pedestrian death investigation.

Traffic was backed up for about a mile (0.6km) in both directions on the only road that leads to Valhalla Golf Club on Friday morning, with dozens of police cars flashing red-and-blue lights near the entrance.

Police said a pedestrian had been struck by a bus while crossing the road in a lane that was dedicated to tournament traffic.

ESPN said Scheffler, the number one player in the world who was to start the second round at 8:48am local time (12:48 GMT), drove past a police officer in his SUV with markings on the door indicating it was a PGA Championship vehicle. ESPN said Scheffler drove past an officer, who screamed at him to stop and then attached himself to the car until Scheffler stopped about 10 yards (nine metres) later.

Golfer putts the ball on green.
Before being detained by police, Scottie Scheffler had been playing in the PGA Championship at the Valhalla Golf Club, in Louisville, Kentucky, USA [Sue Ogrocki/AP]

Jeff Darlington of ESPN watched this unfold. He said police pulled Scheffler out of the car, pushed him up against the car and immediately placed him in handcuffs.

“Scheffler was then walked over to the police car, placed in the back, in handcuffs, very stunned about what was happening, looked toward me as he was in those handcuffs and said, ‘Please help me,’” Darlington said. “He very clearly did not know what was happening in the situation. It moved very quickly, very rapidly, very aggressively.”

The PGA of America did not immediately have a comment.

The second round has been delayed by one hour, 20 minutes, meaning Scheffler was not due to play until a little after 10am local time (14:00 GMT).

With cars backed in the morning darkness, other PGA-marked vehicles tried to move slowly towards the entrance. Traffic finally began to move slowly a little before 7am (11:00 GMT).

It was a surreal start to what already has been a wild week of weather — the Masters champion and top-ranked in the world, dressed in workout clothes with his hands in cuffs behind his back amid flashing flights.

Darlington said police were not sure who he was. He said an officer asked him to leave and when he identified himself being with the media, he was told, “There’s nothing you can do. He’s going to jail.”

Darlington said another police officer later approached with a notepad and asked if he knew the name of the person they put in handcuffs.

Scheffler is coming off four victories in his last five tournaments, including his second Masters title. He was home in Dallas for the last three weeks, waiting on the birth of his first child – a son who was born on May 8.

Scheffler opened with a four-under 67 and was five shots out of the lead as he tries to become only the fifth player since 1960 to win the first two majors of the year.

Source: News Agencies