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May 17, 2024

Scottie Scheffler

Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Valhalla Golf Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us. Is there anything you'd like to say to start?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, first of all, my sympathies go out to the family of Mr. Mills. I can't imagine what they're going through this morning. One day he's heading to the golf course to watch a tournament. A few moments later he's trying to cross the street, and now he's no longer with us. I can't imagine what they're going through. My heart -- I feel for them. I'm sorry.

My situation will get handled. It was a chaotic situation and a big misunderstanding. I can't comment on any of the specifics of it, so I feel like y'all are going to be disappointed, but I can't comment on any specifics, but my situation will be handled. It was just a big misunderstanding. If you've got any questions about the golf today, I'm happy to answer that, but outside of that, I can't get into what transpired, outside of my heart goes out to the family.

Q. How do you encapsulate everything that happened to you today?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I don't really know. I feel like my head is still spinning. I can't really explain what happened this morning. I did spend some time stretching in a jail cell. That was a first for me. That was part of my warmup. I was just sitting there waiting and I started going through my warmup, I felt like there was a chance I may be able to still come out here and play. I started going through my routine and I tried to get my heart rate down as much as I could today, but like I said, I still feel like my head is spinning a little bit. But I was fortunate to be able to make it back out and play some golf today.

Q. What was it like even making the decision to continue to compete today and shifting focus to the task at hand and coming out and shooting 5-under?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, like I said, it was just a huge misunderstanding this morning. That'll get resolved I think fairly quickly.

I came here for a golf tournament. I was driving in this morning, trying to get to my warmup time and get ready for the round of golf. I didn't really have an understanding of what had transpired this morning.

My main focus after getting arrested was wondering if I could be able to come back out here and play, and fortunately I was able to do that.

It was nice to put together a solid round today for sure.

Q. It seemed like the crowds were really behind you and your fellow players kind of rallied around you. Did you feel the support out there today from your community?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I really did. It was really nice. The fans were tremendous today. I felt like they were cheering extra loud for me today. I really do -- I know sometimes you can't really see it on my face, but I really do enjoy playing in front of the fans. The support I've been getting the last few months out here has been tremendous, and I'm really grateful for it.

Q. How long did it take before the golf felt normal, or did it feel normal at any point once you got out there?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: It probably took a few holes to feel normal. Obviously I didn't have my normal warmup and I usually stick to my routine. I'm a big routine guy, especially when it comes to my preparation. But it took a few holes to settle in.

It was kind of nice just to be out there inside the ropes competing. It's one of my favorite things in the world to do, so I was fortunate to be able to come out here and do it again today.

Q. We've come to know you as a pretty unflappable person out here, not affected by a lot of stuff. Can you describe how rattled you were when -- you just referenced being in a jail cell and whatnot. Just describe that mindset and how surreal that was for you.

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, I was pretty rattled to say the least. The officer that took me to the jail was very kind. He was great. We had a nice chat in the car, that kind of helped calm me down. I was sitting there waiting to kind of go in and I asked him, I was like, Hey, excuse me, can you just come hang out with me for a few minutes so I can calm down. I was never angry. I was just in shock, and I think my body was just -- I was shaking the whole time. I was shaking for like an hour. It was definitely a new feeling for me. He came out and we had a nice chat and then the officers inside the jail were tremendous. A couple of them made some jokes I think when they figured out who I was and what happened and how I ended up there.

This one older officer looked at me as I was doing my fingerprints or whatever, and he looks at me and he goes, So do you want the full experience today? I kind of looked at him, and I was like, I don't know how to answer that. He's like, Come on, man, you want a sandwich? I was like, Sure, I'll take a sandwich. I hadn't eaten breakfast yet. I mean, they were really kind. I'm grateful that we have such strong police, and they're our protectors out there, and like I said, we just got into a chaotic situation this morning. That's really all it was.

Q. In terms of the ability to compartmentalize, how difficult was that challenge for you today once you got on the course?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, like I said, my body was -- I was shaking. I would say in shock and in fear. Coming out here and trying to play today was definitely a challenge, but I did my best to control my mind, control my breathing.

Basically just calm down so I could come out here and try and play golf. I knew there was going to be a lot of distractions, but I didn't really know what the reception would be like. To be honest with you, it was great having the fans behind me. They cheered for me really loud. I felt like they were really glad to have me out competing today, and it was a nice day to come out here and compete.

Q. Was there any concern -- it's been a huge rush from 6:00 this morning, that when you have the afternoon and you have the night to process this, how it'll affect you going into the weekend?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I'm going to go back to my normal routine now. I may go practice a touch this afternoon, depending on my energy levels after I eat, and then I'll probably go into the gym, go through my movements and then see my trainer and go home and get some rest.

As far as the rest of the week goes, I'm going to do my best to continue to calm down from this morning, continue to get my heart rate down, and yeah, get ready for a long weekend.

Q. I'm curious, what was your level of concern that you wouldn't make it back out here today? What was going through your head?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I mean, I didn't really know. I was just so confused at what was happening at the time. I didn't know what time it was. I didn't know what was going on. When I was sitting in like the holding cell or whatever, there was a TV there and I could see myself on the TV on ESPN. Get Up was on, so in the corner it showed the time and it said they were delayed, and I was kind of thinking about my tee time, I was like, well, maybe I could be able to get out. The officers downstairs, they were discussing how long it was going to take me to get released. Obviously we have to go through all the due process and everything. I was able to kind of see a bit of the TV, and then I laid down and then I started to stretch a little bit once I got my heart rate down a little bit.

Q. Did it ever cross your mind with the shaking stuff that voluntarily not playing today, maybe going home? Did it ever cross your mind?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Not really, no.

Q. Did any members of your team tell you anything today to calm you down, just kind of reset before you went out?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, like I said, I was in shock, and so I was shaking, and it took me a little while in the car on the way over here to kind of calm down, but my manager was in the car and two gentlemen from the club were in the car with me.

Yeah, we were able to talk, have a nice chat. They were -- I'm not really going to get into the details of that, either. But I was able to have a nice chat there. I gave my mom and dad a hug. My coach Randy was there, Blake was there, my whole team was there for me in a moment where I really needed them, especially to -- like I said, I was in such shock at what was happening that I think -- I didn't stop shaking for a while just because it was a chaotic situation.

My team, I leaned on them pretty heavily this morning to get me into the right frame of mind to where I could go out and play.

Q. With your ability to focus on the course, was it actually a relief that you had a round to play?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I think for sure. It was nice to be able to get inside the ropes and do what I love to do. I love competing our here on TOUR, I love playing in major championships. I've kept myself in the tournament now with a pretty chaotic day, so I'm going to go from here and focus on getting some rest and recovery and get ready for a grind the last two days, and we'll see how the leaderboard shakes out, but hopefully I won't be too far back going into tomorrow.

Q. I imagine the last thing you thought you'd be doing this morning was sitting in the back of a cop car cuffed. Within the shock and the fear and the confusion of that moment, what do you recall were some of the things that were spinning and racing through your mind?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I was just -- I was just really confused. I was doing my best to defuse the situation really. Yeah, I was just sitting there just trying to remain as calm as possible. Like I said, it was pretty chaotic with what had happened this morning. Once again, I can't imagine what the family is going through.

But like I said, I was doing my best to defuse whatever was going on, so I was just sitting there in the back of the car just listening to the police officer as he's trying to figure out who I am, figure out my name. They were trying to find me in the system, but there was something wrong with going across state lines with the Social Security Number and stuff like that. All around, it was a very confusing and chaotic situation, but I did my best to just follow instructions and do as I was told as I was sitting there handcuffed.

Q. Did you ever say to someone this morning, "I'm Scottie Scheffler"?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: No. When they got me out of the car -- like I said, it was very chaotic, and I said, I'm sorry, I'm just trying to get to my tee time. Outside of that, things escalated from there. I did numerous apologies and whatever, but like I said, it was chaotic, it's dark, it was raining, there's a lot of stuff going on. They had just had an accident. I didn't know what it happened at the time, other than there was an accident. I didn't know that it was fatal.

Like I said, my heart goes out to the family. But no, at no point did I try to name drop myself to defuse the situation. I just tried to remain as calm as possible and just follow instructions.

Q. At what point did you feel as if you were definitely going to make your tee time or there would be some kind of an exception made?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: I didn't really feel like I would make my tee time until one of the officers at the jail came by my holding cell and knocked on the window and said, Let's go. He said, Get ready, and motioned like this (indicating) to start rolling up my mat. So then I poked my head at the TV and I was like, oh, might be able to get there, we'll see how bad the traffic is getting in and out.

Like I said, I'm just sitting there. I don't really know what was going on. I didn't know what was going on out here. I didn't know how long the delay was. At the time I couldn't even remember what my original tee time was. I was just trying to do my best to stay calm, and when they took me out and we got in the car on the way here, I figured it was ready to play and my manager asked me if I wanted to, and I was like, of course. Then we just came here and got ready to go play.

Q. On the detail, how long were you actually in the cell for, and in the context of everything else, where among the best rounds of your career would be a 66 after getting arrested?

SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER: Yeah, I couldn't tell you how long I was in there. You don't have access to -- I wasn't wearing a watch or didn't have access to my phone, so I didn't really -- I couldn't tell you how long I was in there.

Like I said, the officers at the jail were tremendous. I'm very grateful for the people that serve all of us across the nation.

As far as best rounds of my career, I would say it was pretty good. I definitely never imagined ever going to jail, and I definitely never imagined going to jail the morning before one of my tee times for sure.

But yeah, like I said, I was grateful to be able to go out there and compete, and yeah, it was definitely a nice round of golf. My heart goes out to the family.

But outside of that, yeah, I'm glad to be out here competing, doing what I love.

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