LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Masters champion Scottie Scheffler finished the second day of competition -5 at the PGA Championship in Louisville hours after being arrested by Louisville Metro Police. 

What You Need To Know

  • Masters champion Scottie Scheffler was in police handcuffs going into the PGA Championship

  • ESPN reports Scheffler drove past police officers investigating a traffic fatality involving a pedestrian

  • ESPN said Scheffler faces charges of second-degree assualt of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic

  • Traffic was shut down for about a mile. The second round was delayed by rain

In a three hour span, Scheffler was arrested, booked and had a mug shot taken and then driven back to Valhalla to begin playing in the PGA Championship.

Scheffler's attorney Steve Romines told the Associated Press Scheffler's arrest was a "big misunderstanding." He added, "We will litigate the case as it goes." 

In a social media post to his Instagram account, 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." 

Golfer Scottie Scheffler released a statement about his Louisville arrest on his Instagram stories. (Instagram)

According to the LMPD report, Detective Bryan Gillis was directing traffic at Gate 1 of Valhalla Golf Club.

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

Police said a man had been hit by a bus while crossing the road in a lane that was dedicated to tournament traffic. The man was later identified as Louisvillian John Mills, a worker with one of the PGA's vendors.

The report says Scheffler tried to go around the back up to gain entry to the golf course. In the report, Gillis said he stopped Scheffler and tried to give him instructions, but said Scheffler refused and allegedly accelerated, dragging Gillis to the ground. Gillis' wrist and knee were swollen and had cuts. He was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Scheffler is charged with assaulting a police officer, criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding traffic officers. His arraignment is set for Tuesday, May 21, 2024. 

ESPN reported Scottie Scheffler failed to follow police orders during a pedestrian fatality investigation. (Louisville Metro Department of Corrections)

Jeff Darlington of ESPN watched the incident 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.”

Louisville Metro Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell told Louisville radio station 84WHAS the man was crossing Shelbyville Road about 5 a.m. and the bus didn't see him. Mitchell said the man was pronounced dead on the scene.

The PGA Championship posted a notice that play would be delayed because of the accident. The second round was to start one hour, 20 minutes later than scheduled tee times, meaning Scheffler was not due to start until a little after 10 a.m.

Rain began pounding Valhalla a short time later, and with recent rain earlier in the week that twice shut down the course, play was likely to be halted even longer.

With cars backed up in the morning darkness, other PGA-marked vehicles tried to move slowly toward the entrance. Traffic finally began to move gradually a little before 7 a.m.

It was a surreal start to what already has been a wild week of weather — the Masters champion and top-ranked player 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 Scheffler 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.

The PGA put out a statement regarding the accident and Scheffler's arrest: "Our primary concern today remains with the family of John Mills, who lost his life in a tragic accident early this morning while reporting to work. As it relates to the incident involving Scottie Scheffler, we are fully cooperating as local authorities review what took place. While the legal process plays out, questions should be directed to Scheffler's attorney or local authorities."

Late Friday, Josh Abner with the Jefferson County Attoney's office issued a statement saying, “The Jefferson County Attorney’s office is still obtaining information in the case of Mr. Scheffler and will review and proceed accordingly.”

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

Scheffler opened with a 4-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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.