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May 17, 2024 5:06 pm

‘Free Scottie’: PGA peers discuss shock of Scheffler’s ‘wild’ arrest

harris english

Long described as a level-headed, wholesome family man whose dominance in the game of golf bordered on boring, Scottie Scheffler now has a mugshot in an orange jumpsuit and a scheduled arraignment on his resume.

Scheffler’s peers at the PGA Championship were as shocked as anyone that the No. 1 golfer in the world was arrested hours before the second round of the major Friday at Valhalla Golf Club.

“You kind of take it all in, and talking amongst all the players and caddies and physios and our little bubble in there, and it’s just wild,” Harris English said after his round. “Turn on ESPN and seeing Scottie in handcuffs, getting in a police car, I never would have thought I would have seen that this morning.”

A shuttle bus was involved in a fatal collision outside the course at 5:09 a.m., which caused a traffic back-up. Just after 6, after Scheffler tried to drive around the accident, he was arrested and charged with assault of a police officer (a felony), reckless driving, disregard of traffic signals from officers and third-degree criminal mischief. ESPN reported that an officer “attached himself to the side of Scheffler’s car” before the vehicle stopped.

Scheffler said in a statement he merely misunderstood the direction officers had given him, and his attorney said multiple eyewitnesses confirmed Scheffler was only “proceeding as directed.”

Australian Min Woo Lee was one of multiple golfers in the field to tweet the hashtag #FreeScottie.

“I thought it was a little overreaction,” Lee later said of Scheffler’s arrest. “Personally I went around traffic, and I was following cars — a Lexus car that was one of the courtesy cars. I just thought it was more — I thought it was a bit of an overreaction. A lot of people were doing it. He was in a courtesy car, too, so I don’t know what kind of caused it.”

English echoed the fact — also in ESPN’s reporting — that other golfers got around the accident and onto the property.

“We had no idea what was going on. That could have been any one of us,” English said. “We’re all taking that same route coming into the club.”

Scheffler proceeded to make his tee time with Brian Harman and Wyndham Clark, shot a 5-under 66 and moved to 9 under par for the week.

Scheffler was seen sharing a laugh with Harman as they headed to their tee time. In a pre-round interview with ESPN, Harman added to the chorus of players supporting the 27-year-old from Texas.

“I don’t know all the details, but I know, knowing Scottie, that he is one hell of a dude and I am sure glad he’s gonna be out here to play,” Harman said.

“He’s one of those guys that smiles at you when he beats the brakes off you.”

Harman said that amid the chaos, the players’ locker room was “just supportive” hoping Scheffler would be able to play.

“We’re all here, we all got a job to do and it’s a tough deal, but I’m happy to see him walking right over there,” Harman said.

Englishman Ian Poulter, a member of LIV Golf not in the field this week, asserted that too much attention was being paid to Scheffler compared to the victim of the original accident, an employee for a PGA vendor named John Mills.

“What’s more concerning is the tragic loss of life at the PGA to a spectator hit by a bus,” Poulter posted. “Thoughts to the families affected by that news. Rather than all the press around Scottie. Sad day in golf.”

–Field Level Media

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