Who is Scottie Scheffler, the golfer charged with assault outside tournament?

Golfer Scottie Scheffler made headlines for all the wrong reasons when he was arrested and charged with felony assault on a police officer on Friday.

Scheffler, 27, allegedly refused to stop for police outside Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky on his way to the second round of the PGA Championship.

He was taken to jail and charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, third-degree criminal mischief, reckless driving, and disregarding traffic signals from an officer directing traffic. He was later released and teed off around 10am local time in the second day of the competition.

The arrest is a stunning break from Scheffler's public persona, but he insisted on Friday that the incident was a misunderstanding at the gate.

“This morning, I was proceeding as directed by police officers. It was a very chaotic situation, understandably so considering the tragic accident that had occurred earlier, and there was a big misunderstanding of what I thought I was being asked to do. I never intended to disregard any of the instructions. I’m hopeful to put this to the side and focus on golf today,” he said in a statement.

“Of course, all of us involved in the tournament express our deepest sympathies to the family of the man who passed away in the earlier accident this morning. It truly puts everything in perspective.”

Scottie Scheffler pleads for help after being detained by police (Jeff Darlington, ESPN)
Scottie Scheffler pleads for help after being detained by police (Jeff Darlington, ESPN)

The world’s number one golfer is known by fans as a family man who regularly discusses his Christian faith and loved ones.

Scheffler is originally from Montvale, New Jersey but moved to Dallas, Texas with his family in the early 2000s where he picked up golf.

He began golfing at the age of three, and began receiving tutelage at the Royal Oaks Golf Club from professional coaches.

From there, he went on to see incredible success as a youth player, racking up 75 victories during his time playing on the PGA junior circuit. Scheffler continued to golf until his PGA Tour debut as a 17-year-old amateur at the HP Byron Nelson Championship in May 2014.

He ultimately came in 22nd place in that tournament, ending at 4-under-par. Two years later, Scheffler qualified for his first US Open but did not make the cut to participate in the final.

In May 2019, Scheffler scored his first major professional victory against Marcelo Rozo in the Evans Scholars Invitational. Three months later he would go on to win the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship.

He tied for fourth place in the 2020 PGA Championship and was later named the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year for that season, but it wouldn't be until 2022 that he won his first tour.

Scheffler won in Phoenix and Orlando that year, and three weeks later was the victor of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin. The back-to-back wins earned him the number one spot on the Official World Golf Ranking list.

Scottie Scheffler warms up before the second round of the PGA Championship (AP)
Scottie Scheffler warms up before the second round of the PGA Championship (AP)

The wins kept coming in 2022: in April of that year he won the Masters tournament at Augusta National.

He continued to rack up wins through 2024, including the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Players Championship, and the Masters for a second time.

Shortly after his Masters win, Scheffler became a father for the first time.

His wife, Meredith, was still pregnant when he received his second green jacket in April 2024. He told reporters that he was excited to return home to his wife and welcome their child.

“I’m coming home. I’m coming as quick as I can. I love you, and I’m coming home,” he said at the time. “I can’t put into words what it means to win this tournament. I really can’t put into words what it means to be a father for the first time.”

He had said that he would pull out of the tournament if she went into labour during the competition.