Scottie Scheffler looks back at arrest after charges dropped: ‘I believe in forgiveness’

Scottie Scheffler knows his jail mug shot that went viral on social media is here to stay.

The world’s No. 1-ranked golfer is relieved charges were dropped last week following his May 17 arrest for a traffic incident at the PGA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. Scheffler was handcuffed and briefly jailed after a Louisville police officer claimed the golfer failed to stop his SUV when ordered to do so. The officer claimed he was dragged and injured by Scheffler’s vehicle.

But while relieved, Scheffler said Tuesday at Muirfield Village Golf Club that having the charges dropped was “kind of only the beginning of kind of getting past it.”

Friends and golf fans now feel freed up to ask Scheffler about the traffic incident.

“I’m hoping to get there (to normalcy), but it’s almost more appropriate for people to … make jokes about it and stuff like that,” he said.

Even if he never has to answer another question about the arrest outside the gates of Valhalla Golf Club, Scheffler said the trauma will always be only a flashback away.

“That’s something that will always, I think, kind of stick with me,” he said. “That mug shot, I’m sure, is not going anywhere anytime soon.”

2024 PGA Championship
2024 PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler with his caddie Ted Scott during the final round of the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club. (Matt Stone-USA TODAY Sports)

The Memorial is Scheffler’s first tournament since the charges were dropped, but he said the chaos has not negatively impacted his golf.

“When it comes to on the golf course, I’m always prepared to go out and play,” he said. “Even after I got arrested I went out on Friday and had a good round of golf. … No matter what the circumstances are off the course, if I’m showing up at a tournament it’s not some sort of ceremonial deal. I’m here to play.”

His record at Muirfield is impressive. In three appearances he has two third-place finish and a tie for 22nd.

Scheffler’s attorney, Steve Romines, was prepared to seek legal action against the Louisville Police Department if the case had gone to court.

“If we needed to use it, I think Steve was more than ready … just because there was a ton of evidence in our favor,” Scheffler said. “There were eyewitnesses on the scene that corroborated my story. All the evidence pointed to exactly what my side of the story was.

“But at the end of the day, I did not want to have to pursue legal action against Louisville, because the people of Louisville are then going to have to pay for the mistakes of their police department, and that just doesn’t seem right.”

Going through what he did in Louisville does not change his perspective on the criminal justice system or whether he would now think twice about assuming someone is guilty of a crime.

“I try to believe people are innocent until proven guilty,” he said. “So when someone is accused of something … I try not to see people for kind of their bad sides. Just because somebody’s accused of something doesn’t mean they actually did it, or maybe they did do it and maybe they just made a mistake.

“I think forgiveness is something that’s lost in our society, and just because somebody made a mistake at one point in their life doesn’t mean that they’re a bad person.”

If anything, getting arrested confirmed what Scheffler already knew. And what he believes.

“Sometimes in our society people are expecting perfection out of everybody … one mistake and people will crucify them for that,” he said. “I believe in forgiveness. I believe in grace, and I try to give that out as much as possible, because of how much grave I’ve been given.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek