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What to know about Scottie Scheffler's arrest at the PGA Championship – NBC New York

Two-time Masters champion Scottie Scheffler was arrested Friday after Louisville police said he dragged a police officer as he tried to avoid the scene of a fatal accident before the second round of the PGA Championship.

Scheffler, 27, the world's top golfer, was trying to get to Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, around 6 a.m. when he illegally avoided the scene of an accident that killed a pedestrian, according to police.

Scheffler was charged with several counts, including second-degree assault on a police officer and reckless driving. He was booked and a mugshot was taken before his release. Scheffler called the sequence of events a “big misunderstanding.”

He returned to Valhalla in time for his local start time of 10:08 a.m. Scheffler received a loud ovation from fans when he was introduced and then birdied his first hole of the day, the par-5 10th.

WHO IS SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER?

Scheffler came into Valhalla this week as the heavy favorite, having not dominated in the sport like this since Tiger Woods' heyday. He came into play Thursday having won four of the last five tournaments he has competed in, including the Masters – one of golf's four major tournaments – last month at Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia.

The mild-mannered Texan is an unusual star. He fell in love with the game as a child, sometimes hitting balls in the dark in northern New Jersey while his father, Scott, held a flashlight.

The Schefflers moved to Dallas during Scottie's childhood, where Scott Scheffler worked as a househusband while Scheffler's mother, Diane, worked as a managing director at a law firm.

As a child, Scheffler played several sports before finally choosing golf. He's hardly the only player in the family. His sister Callie played in college at Texas A&M.

He and his wife Meredith were high school sweethearts and the Schefflers paint a picture of a very modest life, despite Scottie's rapid rise to fame, which began in 2022 when he won his first Masters title.

The process has only accelerated in recent months as Scheffler turned his deficit to world No. 2 Rory McIlroy into a chasm.

Scheffler is a self-confessed homebody who prefers playing board games and relaxing by watching Instagram videos rather than indulging in the trappings of his success. He has already won more than $61 million in his career, including $18 million this season alone.

The Schefflers welcomed their first child, son Bennett, on May 8, which recently caused Scottie to reflect on how his life has turned out.

“I married my high school sweetheart and always wanted to play professional golf, and now I’m here,” he said. “I sat there with a newborn in my arms and the green jacket in the closet. It was a very special time.”

Here are five things you should know about seven-time PGA Tour winner Scottie Scheffler.

WHAT HAPPENED TO SCHEFFLER AT THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP?

Scheffler tried to get to Valhalla to get an early stretch/workout before his second-round tee time, originally scheduled for 8:48 a.m

A salesman working on the course was struck and killed by a bus just after 5 a.m. as he attempted to cross a four-lane road. While police investigated, traffic was backed up in both directions on the way to the track.

Scheffler was driving past the scene around 6 a.m. when a police officer told him to stop. According to police, the officer clung to the vehicle Scheffler was driving. Scheffler pulled over and the officer ordered Scheffler to get out of the car before handcuffing him.

According to Louisville police, the officer was hospitalized after he was pulled “to the ground” and suffered “pain, swelling and abrasions to his left wrist” after Scheffler's vehicle “accelerated forward.”

A spokesman for Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said Saturday there was no police body camera video of the initial encounter between Scheffler and the officer. The officer was directing traffic at the time, and department officers typically do not record video on their body cameras while directing traffic, Kevin Trager, the mayor's press secretary, wrote in a text message to an Associated Press reporter.

Scheffler was booked at 7:28 a.m. — about 2 1/2 hours before his updated tee time after the second round was delayed due to the death. He donned an orange jumpsuit and had a mugshot taken before his release. Scheffler said in a statement that he never intended to violate traffic rules, expressed sympathy for the “tragic accident” and called the sequence of events that led to his arrest a “big misunderstanding.”

The world's best golfer returned to Walhalla shortly after 9 a.m. and left the clubhouse about 20 minutes later to begin preparing for his round. Wearing a white hat and quarter-zip jacket, he received an ovation as he made his way to the driving range. One fan shouted “Free Scottie!”

There was a sense of normalcy as Scheffler went through his routine. Fellow PGA Tour player Brendon Todd greeted Scheffler with the words “Nice to see you.” Todd then showed Scheffler something on Todd’s phone, causing both of them to laugh a little.

Scheffler joined his playing partners Wyndham Clark and Brian Harman on the 10th tee, and the gallery exploded when Scheffler was introduced. Scheffler's first tee shot hit the right rough, but he eventually pushed his approach shot to 3 feet on the par-5 and made birdie.

By the time Scheffler was halfway through his round, fans were already wearing white “Free Scottie” T-shirts as they stood behind the ropes a few feet away.

Anna Harden

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