Scottie Scheffler Arrested at PGA Championship in Louisville

Scottie Scheffler was arrested and charged with multiple counts after a traffic incident Friday morning


In what the ESPN+ telecast characterized as the most bizarre morning in the history of golf, Scottie Scheffler was arrested on Friday as he attempted to navigate police activity around the scene of a fatal accident on his way to Valhalla Golf Club, site of this week’s PGA Championship. Ultimately, as you can see in the timeline of events below, Scheffler was released from jail and arrived at the golf course in time to tee it up during his second round. 

There’s a lot we don’t know about these events. In the meantime, here are some questions that eventually need to be answered:

Timeline of events (ESPN)

Did Scottie Scheffler do anything wrong?

Scheffler is facing four charges, one of which is a felony—second degree assault of a police officer named Brian Gillis. Eyewitness accounts and anecdotes from other golfers suggest Scheffler believed he could enter the property despite the change in traffic patterns from a fatal accident that occurred earlier in the morning. Jeff Darlington, an ESPN reporter who witnessed the event, reported that Scheffler told Gillis he did not know that he was a police officer. Darlington added that Scheffler did not raise his voice during the confrontation.

Clearly we can’t conclude anything about Scheffler’s guilt or innocence at this point. His arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Did the police officer overreact? 

According to Darlington’s reporting, Officer Bryan Gillis shouted obscenities as Scheffler tried to enter the property, “attached himself” to Scheffler’s car, pulled the player out of his vehicle by the arm, pressed him up against the car, and placed him in handcuffs. If it is determined that Scottie Scheffler did nothing wrong and this incident is the result of a miscommunication between law-enforcement teams on the scene, questions should be raised about the police officer’s role in escalating the event, independent of Scheffler’s celebrity status. 

Nobody should be treated as above the law, but were there opportunities to de-escalate the situation? Did the police on the scene behave properly from the start of the encounter to Scheffler’s release? Was a mugshot in an orange jumpsuit necessary?

How did Scheffler get released so quickly?

If Scheffler was truly suspected of assaulting a police officer, it would be unusual for him to be booked and released so quickly. As Louisville lawyer David Barber told Shane Ryan of Golf Digest, “Just generally speaking, it’s not a great look for the police department in terms of civil liability to have released somebody on the spot who allegedly committed this assault in the second degree on a police officer. If he’s really this dangerous madman, why are you releasing him?”

Did Valhalla Golf Club and the PGA of America fail to provide a safe method of access to the golf course? 

Amid the chaos of all of these events, we shouldn’t forget that a human being lost his life on his way into the golf course to work as a vendor. Entering this week, Valhalla Golf Club and the PGA of America publicized their expectations of record crowds. But were they ready for those crowds from a logistical standpoint?

Following tragic events, it is human nature to search for answers and assign blame to the parties involved. We won’t do that here. But there’s no doubt that Valhalla Golf Club and the PGA of America should evaluate the extent to which they provided safe options for people to enter and exit the property this week.

(The following was our initial post from Friday morning, which has been updated above.)

In a surreal situation on many, many levels, Scottie Scheffler is under arrest after an incident with police officers outside Valhalla Golf Club on Friday morning.

Louisville police were reportedly working the scene of a tragic accident involving a pedestrian and a shuttle bus near the club’s entrance. As Scheffler approached stopped traffic, he reportedly attempted to drive around it to enter Valhalla, at which point he was detained by police.

ESPN’s Jeff Darlington witnessed the incident, and has been reporting on it from on-site. His account of events is wild:

Darlington later described what he witnessed on the air:

Scheffler has reportedly been charged with multiple counts, including assault of a police officer. Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde reported he’s been released after being charged, and Scheffler is now back at Valhalla:

If you’re wondering how something like this could happen, Michael Kim offered what feels like relevant context:

It’s hard to imagine a more unlikely scenario than what’s playing out today. Obviously this is a developing situation, and we’ll update this post accordingly.


A few updates to share here mid-morning. Scheffler’s attorney released this statement on Scheffler’s behalf:

Scheffler released his own statement via Instagram:

Scheffler is preparing to tee off, having made it back to the course after being released.

The police report has surfaced as well:

We’ll continue monitoring and updating here as necessary.

For more coverage of the PGA Championship, visit our PGA hub here.