Sports

Scheffler relieved but still ‘reliving’ arrest at PGA

DUBLIN, Ohio — Masters champion Scottie Scheffler said he knew five days in advance that charges related to his arrest during the PGA Championship were going to be dismissed. In his mind, that wasn’t the end of the saga but rather the beginning of trying to put it behind him.

Criminal charges were dismissed on May 29, nearly two weeks after images emerged of the world’s No. 1 golfer being arrested and handcuffed outside Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

Scheffler said his attorney told him on May 24 that dropping the charges had become a formality because “we had a lot of evidence on our side.” But that didn’t mean he had moved past it.

“The charges are dropped, but I still … now it’s almost more appropriate for people to ask me about it,” Scheffler said Tuesday ahead of the Memorial. “And to be honest with you, it’s not something that I love reliving, just because it was fairly traumatic for me being arrested going into the golf course.

“It was definitely a bit of a relief, but not total relief because that’s something that will always kind of stick with me,” he said. “That mug shot, I’m sure is not going anywhere anytime soon.”

Even with the U.S. Open approaching, images are still hard to forget of Scheffler in gym shorts and a T-shirt being led to a police car in handcuffs.

The case stemmed from a fatal accident involving a pedestrian, John Mills, an employee of a PGA Championship vendor who was hit by a shuttle bus near the entrance to Valhalla Golf Club.

Scheffler was trying to drive around the traffic that resulted from the accident scene on his way into the course. He was charged with a felony for assaulting a police officer with his vehicle, along with three misdemeanors, after police alleged he did not follow instructions.

The arresting officer said he was dragged by Scheffler’s car and suffered minor injuries.

A surveillance video released by Louisville police last week showed Detective Bryan Gillis pursuing Scheffler’s vehicle on foot and stopping him from entering the course. Scheffler is later pulled from the car and handcuffed. But the video did not show Gillis’ first contact with Scheffler, authorities said.

Scheffler’s mug shot from jail made its way onto shirts during the final three days of the PGA Championship. He was released in time to make his tee time for the second round and shot 66 to get into contention. He finished the week tied for eighth.

His attorney, Steve Romines, said the day charges formally were dismissed that there were grounds for a civil lawsuit against Louisville police. He said Scheffler was not interested in pursuing litigation.

“That was something that if we needed to use it, I think Steve was more than ready to use that, just because there was a ton of evidence in our favor,” Scheffler said. “I don’t really know how to describe it, but basically if I had to show up in court, I think Steve was more than prepared to pursue legal action.

“I did not want to have to pursue legal action against Louisville because at the end of the day, the people of Louisville are then going to have to pay for the mistakes of their police department, and that just doesn’t seem right.”

Scheffler played the following week at Colonial and did not speak to the media. This was his first news conference since the charges were dismissed.

He said his only other run-in with the law has been a couple of speeding tickets.

“I think that’s part of the recovery process from the whole scenario, is your brain tries to figure out how this happened, and I will probably never figure out why or how this happened,” he said. “But it’s just one of those deals that it will always be kind of ingrained in my season this year. But with time, people will forget.”

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