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Scottie Scheffler’s post-arrest brilliance makes for bizarre PGA Championship day

Have I become a big fan! I'm going to the be the next President of the Scott Scheffler Boosters! I love this guy.


Scottie Scheffler’s post-arrest brilliance makes for bizarre PGA Championship day

By Mark Cannizzaro, NY Post

Published May 17, 2024,


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — When the chaos of the day was over, it was difficult to decipher what was more remarkable:


• The 5-under 66 world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler posted at Valhalla hours after being arrested and confined to a jail holding cell wondering if he was even going to be able to play his PGA Championship second round.


• Or his composed and candid post-round press conference describing his harrowing experience.


In the 30-plus years I’ve been covering major championships for The Post, which spans more than 100 of them, Friday easily ranks as one of the most bizarre I’ve ever encountered.


Imagine what it was like for Scheffler, who described himself as “rattled’’ and “in shock’’ as he wondered what was happening to him.


“I was shaking, I would say in shock and in fear,’’ Scheffler said.


How Scottie Scheffler is juggling baby and PGA Championship: ‘Two separate lives’

The obvious element to point out here is that, by far, the worst thing to happen at Valhalla Friday morning was a 69-year-old man named John Mills losing his life when he was struck by a shuttle bus while trying to make his way to work on the grounds for a tournament vendor.


That tragedy is what set off the series of events that led to Scheffler’s arrest at the entrance of the club, where law enforcement emotions were heightened and raw from the accident that had just occurred.


Scottie Scheffler is seen in a police booking photo after being arrested for refusing to stop at a traffic barricade trying to get into Valhalla Golf Course on May 17, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky.


Scottie Scheffler is seen in a police booking photo after being arrested for refusing to stop at a traffic barricade trying to get into Valhalla Golf Course on May 17, 2024 in Louisville,

The knee-jerk reaction to the incident is that Scheffler was acting like a stereotypical entitled athlete and simply tried to plow his way past authority. But entitled is as far from who Scheffler is as you can be.


“First of all, my sympathies go out to the family of Mr. Mills,’’ Scheffler said. “I can’t imagine what they’re going through this morning. I can’t imagine what they’re going through. My heart … I feel for them. I’m sorry.’’


Then, Scheffler added: “My situation will get handled. It was just a huge misunderstanding that’ll get resolved I think fairly quickly. I was driving in this morning, trying to get to my warm-up time and get ready for the round of golf. I didn’t really have an understanding of what had transpired [with the fatal accident].’’


Scheffler said, even after his remarkable round, “My head is still spinning.’’


“When I was sitting in like the holding cell, there was a TV there and I could see myself on the TV on ESPN,’’ Scheffler said. “It showed the time and it said [the tee times] were delayed, and I was kind of thinking about my tee time, I was like, ‘Well, maybe I could be able to get out.’ ’’


The possible legal repercussions, jail time Scottie Scheffler faces after arrest

Scheffler also revealed he actually did some stretching in the jail cell with hopes he might be released in time to play his round.


“That was a first for me,’’ he said. “I started going through my routine and I tried to get my heart rate down as much as I could.’’


The irony of this is that Scheffler always comes off as being so unaffected by any exterior elements you wonder if his heart rate ever spikes.


“I was pretty rattled to say the least,’’ Scheffler said. “I was never angry. I was just in shock. The officer that took me to the jail was very kind. We had a nice chat in the car, that kind of helped calm me down.


“I was sitting there waiting to kind of go in and I asked him, ‘Hey, excuse me, can you just come hang out with me for a few minutes so I can calm down?’ He came out and we had a nice chat, and then the officers inside the jail were tremendous.’’


He said, while he was getting finger-printed, one “older officer’’ asked him, “So, do you want the full experience today?’’


“I kind of looked at him and I was like, ‘I don’t know how to answer that,’ ’’ Scheffler said. “He’s like, ‘Come on, man, you want a sandwich?’ I was like, ‘Sure, I’ll take a sandwich.’ I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet.’ They were really kind.’’


Scheffler was released from custody at 8:40 a.m. and driven to the golf course, where he arrived at 9:12 a.m. — 56 minutes before his 10:08 tee time.


“Coming out here and trying to play today was definitely a challenge,’’ he said. “I did my best to control my mind, control my breathing [and] calm down so I could come out here and try and play golf.’’


He did.


And now he has as good a chance as anybody to win the tournament.


If he does, it would be Scheffler’s second consecutive major championship after winning last month’s Masters and keep him on a track to capture a career Grand Slam.


Only five players in the history of the sport have done that — Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen and Gary Player.


None of those legends, though, ever won a major championship hours after being detained in a jail cell.

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