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Scottie Scheffler: After his arrest, that’s the last time anyone will call the world No1 dull and boring

It’s hard to imagine a more surreal situation than the world’s best golfer getting taken away in handcuffs from the site of the year’s second major

“Right now, he’s going to jail,” said the cop on Friday morning. He was talking about Scottie Scheffler, as the world’s best golfer was handcuffed away from the entrance of the year’s second major. “He’s going to jail and there ain’t nothing you can do about it.”

Scheffler, who even by golf’s standards is the sort of quietly inoffensive chap who’d apologise first if you trod on his toe, was arrested apparently for passing a police checkpoint on the way into Valhalla as dawn broke. An ESPN reporter named Jeff Darlington happened to be there at the same time and as Scheffler was being led away, his footage showed the Masters champion plaintively asking Darlington, “Can you please help me?”

He could not. All he could do was film the moment for posterity and get ushered to the side by the local cop. Darlington would later tell ESPN that once he put his phone down and stopped filming, the cop took out his notepad and asked, “Can you tell me the name of the person we’ve just arrested?”

Oof. Tell me golf is a minority sport without telling me golf is a minority sport. Scheffler has won four of his last five tournaments, all in the past nine weeks. He came second in the other one. The sport has seen nobody on this dominant a run since that other noted non-respecter of traffic law Tiger Woods. And yet to the local cops in Louisville, Kentucky, he’s just some dumb fool who can’t sit in a traffic jam like everybody else.


You’ve got to hand it to Scheffler, he’s doing his best to shed the boring tag. He clearly took all those jibes about him being dull to heart. His new son is only a few days old and what’s his reaction been? Hop on a plane, go play golf, get arrested. That’s some 1970s shit right there. The bad boys over on LIV can only dream of being that kind of rebel.

By midmorning, his charge sheet hit the internet. Second-degree assault of a police officer. Third-degree criminal mischief. Reckless driving. Disregarding signals from an officer directing traffic. His mugshot went around too. Full orange jumpsuit, the whole nine yards.

To repeat – this is Scottie Effing Scheffler we’re talking about. A golfer so bland that when Netflix put out the new season of their Full Swing documentary, he was one of the few golfers who’d been the focus of a full episode in the first series to not have one in the second. The extracurricular activity they had him doing first time around was going buying coffee with his wife, so they presumably figured they could live without him going forward. They’re in Valhalla though – that episode should be worth catching when it comes out next spring.

Scottie Scheffler, eh? Who’d have thought it? One minute he’s reading passages from the bible to get him through the morning, the next he’s Rubin Carter. The man the authorities came to blame. He wouldn’t play ball with the law. He ain’t no Gentleman Jim.

Suddenly, it was a race against time. Scheffler was booked and processed in the local police precinct and all of a sudden he was on his way back to the course. The tee-times had all been delayed by 80 minutes, on account of the very sad incident that had caused the traffic jam in the first place. A pedestrian had been hit by a bus outside the course and had died, putting everyone on edge – including, presumably, the officer of whom Scheffler fell afoul.

His tournament odds, which had drifted out to 8/1 when his mugshot was released, were immediately slashed into 7/2, second favourite ahead of Rory McIlroy, who would be starting a shot ahead of him. So basically, one of the most law-abiding, God-fearing people on the planet spends his morning in jail instead of doing his usual pre-round prep and still he is expected to beat McIlroy over the remaining three rounds. If that doesn’t piss Rory off enough to go and win, nothing will.

From the time of his release, Scheffler had in the region of 90 minutes to make it to the first tee. With an hour to go until his tee-time, the tournament organiser couldn’t confirm he was going to play. He eventually arrived at the course with just over three-quarters of an hour to spare.

Prison had changed him. He arrived into Valhalla cracking jokes with breathless reporters and waving at the players having breakfast in the canteen. Then he grabbed his things and got ready for his round.

Whatever happens now, you suspect the traffic cops at the next event will know who he is.