Scottie Scheffler talks about his “recovery process” 19 days after his arrest

Scottie Scheffler speaks at the Memorial Tournament on Tuesday.

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Scottie Scheffler isn't perfect, at least not outside the ropes. He makes mistakes, just like the rest of us. A speeding ticket here, a parking violation there. But 19 days after his shocking arrest outside the gates of the PGA Championship, the world's top male golfer is still trying to come to terms with how he ended up handcuffed in the back of a squad car and later taken to a Louisville jail where he was charged with four counts, including assault on a police officer.

“I think that's part of the recovery process from the whole scenario, that your brain is trying to figure out how that happened,” Scheffler said Tuesday at the Memorial Tournament in his first detailed remarks about his arrest since the week of the PGA Championship. “I'll probably never figure out why or how that happened.”

Even more than two weeks later, that grim Friday morning still seems so unreal to him: the shackles, the cry for help as he was led to a police car, the stretching in the prison cell, the return to Valhalla where, despite facing felony charges, he shot 66 in the second round, four under par. Aaron Sorkin couldn't have dreamed up such a script.

How and why did this happen? The arresting officer claimed that Scheffler, who was trying to enter the property behind the wheel of a PGA Championship recreational vehicle, “refused” to follow the officer's orders and “accelerated forward, causing him to be pulled to the ground.” Scheffler called the situation a “major misunderstanding.” The video evidence was inconclusive, largely because the officer forgot to activate his body cam. An arraignment date was set and then postponed. The district attorney's office launched an investigation. Scheffler's own legal team prepared for battle. But the war never came. Last Wednesday, Jefferson County Prosecutor Mike O'Connell told a judge that his office had no grounds to file charges based on the evidence he and his team had reviewed.

Scheffler knew the charges would be dropped sooner than the rest of the world. The week after the PGA Championship, he was in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Charles Schwab Challenge, and by Friday of that week, Scheffler said Tuesday, he already had an inkling of where things were headed. Scheffler's attorney, Steve Romines, even put the good news for his client in golf terms. “From a foot-long putt,” Romines told Scheffler of the prospect of the charges being dropped, “all the way down to the tee shot.”

Scheffler wasn't at his best this week at Colonial, but still finished second, five strokes behind Davis Riley. Then it was back home to Dallas for some much-needed rest — or at least as much rest as a father with a newborn can get at home. In all the fuss surrounding Scheffler's legal drama, it's easy to forget that he and his wife, Meredith, had their first child, Bennett, on May 8. “I'm getting a little bit of sleep, not too much,” Scheffler said. Between diaper changes and burping, Scheffler said he squeezed in some practice during his week off, but not much, since the area had been getting heavy rain. Plus, he had at least one other item on his agenda: processing the crazy events of the past two weeks.

Steve Romines, legal representative of golfer Scottie Scheffler, leaves the building after a statement by Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connel at the Jefferson County Hall of Justice

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“If the charges are dropped, that's just the beginning of moving on from this, if that makes sense,” Scheffler said Tuesday. “I'm kind of working through it now. It was definitely some relief, but not total relief, because that's something that I think will always stay with me. I'm sure that mug shot isn't going away anytime soon.”

Scheffler described the arrest as “pretty traumatic” and “not something I like to relive.” Given the mental and emotional anguish, he was asked if he had considered suing the Louisville Metro Police Department? “For me personally, no,” Scheffler said. “That was something that Steve, if we needed to, would be more than willing to use, simply because, as I said, there was a lot of evidence in our favor. There was [were] Eyewitnesses on the scene that corroborated my story and the video evidence, the police officer that spoke to me afterward. All of the evidence pointed exactly to my side of the story and so if it had been necessary, if it was – if I had to sort of – I don't really know how to describe it, but basically if I had to appear in court, I think Steve would have been more than willing to take legal action.”

Scheffler added that the compensation would in fact be paid with taxpayer money and that he did not want the people of Louisville to have to pay for the mistakes of their police department.

“It just doesn’t seem right,” he said.

Scheffler, like the rest of the golf world, has been processing something else lately: the May 26 death of Grayson Murray. Murray, who was 30, withdrew from the second round at Colonial and returned to South Florida, where he took his own life. On Tuesday, Scheffler was among a group of players who paid tribute to Murray at a memorial service on the 1st tee at Muirfield Village. Nearly the entire field was in attendance. Also the caddies: Jack and Barbara Nicklaus. A bagpiper played “Amazing Grace.” Scheffler talked about Murray's “gracious” nature and how he seemed to be making progress after his battle with addiction, and how Scheffler wished he could have done more to help him. When he finished, Scheffler retreated to Meredith and cried.

Later on Tuesday, he was asked about his memorial service. “It pains me that he is no longer with us,” Scheffler said. “I tried to pay my last respects to him as best I could today.”

Afterwards, a reporter asked Scheffler about his improved putting, but Scheffler was not immediately willing to talk about golf.

“To be honest, I haven't thought about it too much,” he said. “There's a lot going on off the course. I talked about that this morning. I think we all carry a lot more things off the golf course than we admit. Competing out here inside the barriers is a great joy for all of us, but life outside the barriers can be challenging.”

Alan Bastian Publisher

As managing editor of, Bastable is responsible for providing the editorial direction and voice of one of the game's most respected and visited news and service sites. He wears many hats – editing, writing, ideating, dreaming of one day breaking 80 – and feels privileged to work with such an incredibly talented and hard-working group of writers, editors and producers. Before taking the reins at, he was features editor at GOLF Magazine. A graduate of the University of Richmond and the Columbia School of Journalism, he lives in New Jersey with his wife and four children.