Berliner Tageblatt - Even No.1 Scheffler gets a laugh out of arrest tribute video

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Even No.1 Scheffler gets a laugh out of arrest tribute video
Even No.1 Scheffler gets a laugh out of arrest tribute video / Photo: © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP

Even No.1 Scheffler gets a laugh out of arrest tribute video

Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler can laugh at the internet-sensation tribute video to his arrest last month at the PGA Championship now that all charges have been dropped.

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But it wasn't so funny at the time, given the four auto-related charges included one for assaulting a Louisville, Kentucky, police officer who claimed Scheffler dragged him while accelerating.

Scheffler was hauled off to jail, had an infamous mugshot taken and still got released in time to return to Valhalla and fire a second-round 66. He soared to a 73 in round three after saying the impact of the charges had sunk in and settled for an eighth-place finish.

Charges were dropped last month with prosecutors agreeing with Scheffler the matter had been a "big misunderstanding".

That eased some of the pressure on Scheffler, who won his fifth US PGA Tour title of the year last week at Memorial and is a heavy favorite to win this week's US Open at Pinehurst.

But it didn't stop someone from arriving at the member-guest event on Monday at Wildwood Country Club in Louisville driving a black van with a dummy dressed as a police officer attached at the driver's left side window and dragging along the ground -- all to the tune of "Bad Boys" playing from the vehicle.

Scheffler, already teased by pals about his misadventures with the law, heard about it from second-ranked Xander Schauffele, who won the PGA Championship, and others this week.

"It's kind of hard not to laugh about the guy who did that," Scheffler said. "Xander did tell me about it yesterday. He got a pretty good kick out of it."

Scheffler admitted last week he is already tired of reliving the moment that became global news within minutes, thanks to a camera crew being near the club entrance where the arrest took place.

"Like I said, I don't love reliving it, but sometimes being able to laugh about it is a good skill, too," Scheffler said.

"When they make jokes, it's definitely hard not to laugh, especially with some of my good buddies, they're pretty funny with it."

Scheffler, whose calm and composed manner is an on-course trademark, is happy to have golfers who are friends he can share a laugh with away from the competition.

"That's part of just having good friends," he said. "If all they did was make fun of me, it would be different. It wouldn't be as fun.

"But they're great guys, and they're great friends. So you've got to be able to look in the mirror and laugh at yourself, too."

- 'Relentless' -

Third-ranked Rory McIlroy, who will join Scheffler and Schauffele in Thursday afternoon's first-round featured group, poked fun even as he paid ultimate praise to Scheffler.

"The only thing that took him from winning a golf tournament was going into a jail cell for an hour," said McIlroy.

"I describe it as is 'relentless.' It seems like every time he shows up, he's the guy to beat, and deservedly so.

"Undoubtedly the best player in the world at the minute by a long way. It's up to us to try to get to his level."

Jon Rahm, a two-time major winner forced to withdraw due to a left foot injury, praised Scheffler's mental strength.

"He's doing everything well," Rahm said. "But I think when somebody is that good, it gets to a point where what's in between the ears is the biggest asset."

Scheffler allowed himself the luxury of enjoying last week's victory and laughing at himself, but his manner quickly went to major mode.

"Coming off of last week, I was really excited and celebrated for a few minutes there," Scheffler said. "But my mind kind of just goes on to the next thing.

"I'm not thinking about my wins anymore. All I'm focused on is this week and getting ready to play. Just because I won last week doesn't give me any shots against the field this week."

J.Fankhauser--BTB