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Top-ranked golfer Scottie Scheffler was arrested in Kentucky on the way to tournament

JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

The world's top-ranked golfer, Scottie Scheffler, was arrested in Louisville, Ky., this morning while driving to a major golf tournament. Police had stopped traffic while responding to a pedestrian fatality. They say Scheffler ignored traffic commands and injured an officer. Kentucky Public Radio's Justin Hicks reports fans at the tournament have mixed reactions.

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JUSTIN HICKS, BYLINE: Here on a rainy day at the Valhalla Golf Club, golf fans are arriving in droves to watch the PGA Championship. It's Day 2 of the tournament. But instead of chatting about standings, everybody is abuzz with one thing.

STANTON GRANGER: No. 1 golfer - No. 1 golfer and you arrest him. Come on.

HICKS: That's Stanton Granger. He is, of course, referring to the arrest of top-ranked golfer Scottie Scheffler by the Louisville Metro Police Department this morning. Police say Scheffler disobeyed orders to stop his car and dragged an officer to the ground who was later transported to the hospital with minor injuries. Scheffler was handcuffed and booked on multiple charges, including felony assault of an officer. He was quickly bailed out and returned to the golf course for the tournament. He said he was following police directions.

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SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: My situation will get handled. It was just a - it was a chaotic situation and a big misunderstanding.

HICKS: Off the course, Scheffler is known for his solid image. And many fans, like Granger, feel the arrest was unnecessary.

GRANGER: I think they made a big mistake. They overreacted. I think the guy was having a bad day, and they took it out on a golfer.

HICKS: Another fan, Brad O'Daniel, was a bit more careful to be critical of police. He says it's important to remember the reason why traffic was stopped this morning in the first place. A worker at the tournament was killed after being hit by a shuttle bus at around 5 a.m.

BRAD ODANIEL: Someone died out here this morning - right? - which is more important than golf. It's more important than some guy getting arrested. Like, that is a serious thing - that person losing their life - right? So LMPD, you know, maybe overreacted in that moment, but I think they were probably in an elevated state, as anyone would be around a fatality, right?

HICKS: The PGA, Scheffler and Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg all issued public statements of sympathy for the family of John Mills, the victim of the traffic accident. Mayor Greenberg called the arrest of Scheffler unfortunate but says the legal process will proceed. Scheffler is coming off two straight victories on-tour, including the Masters last month.

For NPR News, I'm Justin Hicks in Louisville. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Justin Hicks
[Copyright 2024 LPM News]