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  • Writer's pictureWyatt Bose

From Green Jacket to Orange Jumpsuit: How the world No. 1 golfer found himself in handcuffs hours before the PGA Championship


At 6 a.m. in Lousiville, Kentucky outside of the Valhalla Golf Course, Detective Gillis of the Lousiville Metro Police Department “stopped subject and attempted to give instructions. Subject refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging Detective Gillis to the ground. Detective Gillis suffered pain, swelling, and abrasions to his left wrist and knee. He was transported to the hospital for further medical treatment by emergency medical personnel.”


The “subject” in this police report, described as a reckless, hostile, and potentially fleeing culprit, is the world No. 1 golfer, Scottie Scheffler, known for his serenity, relaxed demeanor, and mellow temperament.


In a matter of hours, the esteemed bearer of the Masters Green Jacket found himself in an orange jumpsuit. So, how did we get here?


Around 5 a.m., an hour before Scheffler’s arrest, 69-year-old John Mills, a security guard for the Valhalla Golf Club, was hit and killed by a shuttle bus on Shelbyville Road. The Lousiville Metro Police Department opened an investigation into the accident, creating a backup on the road just outisde of Valhalla Golf Club. Subsequently, Scheffler’s incident occured. 


According to the LMPD’s report, here’s what happened:


Detective Gillis, Scheffler’s soon-to-be arresting officer, “was directing traffic into Gate 1 of the Valhalla Golf Course due to the road being closed… [Scheffler] pulled into the westbound lanes, where unbound traffic was flowing and to avoid backed up traffic. Detective Gillis was in the middle of the westbound lanes, in full LMPD uniform and a hi-visibility yellow reflective rain jacket. Detective Gillis stopped [Scheffler] and attempted to give instructions. [Scheffler] refused to comply and accelerated forward, dragging Detective Gillis to the ground. Detective Gillis suffered pain, swelling, and abrasions to his left wrist and knee. He was transported to the hospital for further medical treatment by emergency medical personnel. Detective Gillis’ uniform pants… were damaged beyond repair.”


According to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington, Gillis “hit Scheffler’s car with a flashlight, told Scheffler to roll down his window, reached in, opened the door himself, pulled Scheffler out of the car, put him up against the car and immediately into handcuffs.”


Darlington was on the scene when Scheffler was being escorted to the police vehicle. He captured the moment here. In the video, Scheffler is seen asking Darlington, “Can you please help me?”


Darlington tried reasoning with the police, but to no avail. The reporter shouted, “Guys!” several times to get the attention of several officers. One responded, delivering the bad news: “Right now, he’s going to jail.”


According to Darlington, some of the officers began to understand the situation. He said that one of the officers asked, “Who is it that we just arrested?”


Darlington responded, “That’s Scottie Scheffler.”


In an interview after his round, Scheffler recounted his experiences from the time of his arrest until his 10:08 a.m. tee time. 


Scheffler said, “I was shaking for like an hour… I was in shock and in fear.” 


He then detailed his interactions with several officers. Scheffler said, “The officer that took me to the jail was great. We had a chat… One older officer said to me, ‘Do you want the full experience today? Do you want a sandwich?’”


He got the full experience, alright. Scheffler gave his fingerprints, took a mugshot, and even had some hiccups with identification. Yes, really. Just hours before the PGA Championship, the No. 1 golfer in the world’s identify could not be verified.


Nevertheless, due process took its course and they identified the 2x Masters champion. Scheffler was placed in a holding cell, where he could see himself on ESPN. He even began his pre-round stretching routine.


That’s right, Scheffler warmed up for Round 2 of the PGA Championship in a jail cell.


Scheffler was released around 8:40 a.m. under his own recognizance after being booked at 7:30 a.m.


At 10:10 a.m., Scheffler teed off. Of course, he birdied the first hole. 


Scheffler finished the round nine strokes under par, tied for third on the leaderboard.


“It probably took a few holes to feel normal,” said Scheffler.


Scheffler’s attorney, Steven Romines, spoke about the incident. He said that Scheffler was unaware of the fatal incident involving John Mills and was just trying to enter the golf course as he had the day before.


Scheffler faces charges of reckless driving, second-degree assault of a police officer, and more. He intends to plead not guilty to all charges, and his arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday.

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