World number one Scottie Scheffler of the United States remains nagged by the memory of getting arrested at the PGA Championship even after all charges against him were dropped

Pinehurst (United States) (AFP) - Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler says he is just starting to move past his arrest on driving-related charges at last month’s PGA Championship and the incident will stay with him throughout his career.

The reigning Masters champion enters next week’s US Open at Pinehurst still trying to get past being hauled off to jail and returning to play the second round of the PGA at Valhalla after having a mug shot taken and spending hours behind bars.

Charges were dropped last month, but Scheffler says that simply gives people more freedom to bring up the subject in conversations he would rather avoid.

“Now it’s almost more appropriate for people to ask me about the situation,” Scheffler said.

“It’s not something I love reliving, just because it was fairly traumatic for me being arrested going into the golf course. It’s not something I love talking about and it’s something that I’m hoping to move past, but when the charges are dropped, that’s only the beginning of getting past it.

“It was definitely a bit of a relief, but not total relief because that’s something that will always kind of stick with me. That mug shot, I’m sure, is not going anywhere anytime soon.”

Scheffler was arrested before dawn at the entrance to Valhalla on four charges stemming from his trying to drive around a police blockade investigating a fatal auto accident.

A mug shot of top-ranked golfer Scottie Scheffler after his arrest at the PGA Championship at Valhalla by Louisville police. All charges were later dropped

He was taken to jail, spending hours behind bars, and a mug shot was taken that was on T-shirts almost before Scheffler returned for his second round. He fired a 66 on Friday but struggled on Saturday and shared eighth overall.

All charges against Scheffler were dropped on May 29, prosecutors saying evidence supported his claim it was “a big misunderstanding.”

But that only helps Scheffler try to get past the experience.

“All of us carry a lot more stuff off the golf course with us than we let on,” he said. “Competing out here inside the ropes is a great joy but life outside the ropes can be challenging.

“Part of the recovery process from the whole scenario is your brain tries to figure out how this happened, and I will probably never figure out why or how this happened.

“It’s just one of those deals. It will always be kind of ingrained in my season this year, but with time, people will forget.”

His season has been memorable with victories at Bay Hill, the Players, the Masters and Heritage plus runner-up efforts at Houston and Colonial.

That’s not even counting his wife Meredith giving birth to their first child, son Bennett, in May during a three-week break before the PGA.

“I’m still trying to learn how to burp him and change his diaper and stuff like that, so as far as the true parenting, I’m trying to just be the best support I can,” Scheffler said.

Scheffler’s first US Father’s Day as a dad will be the Sunday of the final round of the US Open.

Scheffler said he never considered suing Louisville Metro Police over the incident.

“At no point did I ever want to sue them,” he said.

“I did not want to have to pursue legal action 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.”

- ‘I’m here to play’ -

Scheffler, who turns 28 on the Friday after the US Open, said the incident has not impacted his game.

“I’m always prepared to go out and play. I was prepared to go play in Louisville, even after I got arrested,” he said. “If I’m showing up at a tournament, it’s not some sort of ceremonial deal. I’m here to play.”

Scheffler has been thankful for the support of friends, fans and rivals after the incident.

“The support I got from everybody that knows me was extremely in my favor,” he said. “Friends will joke about it, but that’s because they’re my friends.

“Those are the same guys that will also give me a hug and ask me if I’m all right. I’m more than happy to take a ribbing from people that love me.”